The Rest of Yesterday

"Beautiful Westland"

Well, here she is. A gigantic mural, if not in size then ambition, painted on the side of an old wooden depot somewhere in south central Kansas. "On a clear day," I was told, "if you climb a the top of that highest grain elevator there, and you have with you a really good set a binoculars, glass freshly polished, you can actually see all the way a them mountains." And, other than having to squint really hard, so hard I thought I might pass out, they were right. I could see those distant mountains, and how many different things they must have meant for all those who beheld them. A distant mirage that would bring hopes of a fresh start in a new land. A perfect hideout from their imperfect selves. Or a gigantic obstacle that reminded travelers of how far they still had to go to find their freedom. A bunch of 14,000ft. pains in the asses, if you will.

When I tried to think of what the distant and undulating horizon would mean to me someday, I could not quite place it. Would my journey there be blazed with the confident stride of a dinosaur? Would it be slow and calculated like that of a the bison-hunting plains indians? Or, rather, would my trail be one of smoke and iridescent mystery, billowing from my extraterrestrial spaceship called Enigma? No matter, ultimately the time in between would decide that I thought. All I knew, was that at that moment, I was a scruffy white guy, with squeaky boots, ready to ride. Bring on Westland, I thought, ...bring it on.


Elspeth Schulze said...


Kermit said...

I love it Shaners, the story you tell(or don't tell) takes me away in wonderment!!!

Luke Padgett said...

this is sheer genius.