When my dad told me Santa Claus wasn’t real, I cried.

My little brother, who was several years younger than me when my dad broke the same news to him, said, “I’ve known that for years, dad. I’m not stupid.”

Sometimes you see things, clues that blink like neon signs outside your bedroom window in your cramped downtown apartment, that you learn to ignore and sleep through.

I knew we didn’t have a chimney. But we did have that key hidden under that little fat frog statue by the back door that Aunt Patsy used to get into the house and water the plants when we were on vacation. And Santa was way more savvy than Aunt Patsy.

Then suddenly the blinking neon signs wake you from your blissful dream and you roll over and realize you’ll never be able to get back to sleep.

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When you drive the roads of New Mexico, you’re warned to watch for falling rocks more often than you’re made to stop. Of course, I guess the rocks themselves serve as stop signs.

The other day, we were driving a narrow, graded road to a trailhead. As we creeped around another hairpin turn, we met a giant boulder laying directly in the middle of the lane. It sat there, like an impertinent child daring us to chastise him in public. I could almost see it smirking. We and the boulder had a stare down. The boulder won. And we have yet to hike that trail.

A few days later, we were hiking the bluffs and mesas that surround Navajo Lake. We’d hiked that area many times over the winter, plodding along with carefully placed steps so that we wouldn’t fall through crevices that were hidden in feet of snow. This was the first time we’d seen the place without its blanket.

It was like strolling along the Vegas strip. Hundreds, thousands of blinking neon signs.
The rocks of the mountains, they fall down
They’ve been falling since the world has been around
If you think that all the rocks are here to stay
All you have to do to know is read the signs.

The rocks of the mountains, they fall down
They change the world with how they lay around
If you think that all your views are here to stay
All you have to do to know is read the signs.

All you have to do to know is read the signs.

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Thank you for reading! I appreciate your time.

© 2019 Lindsay Sears @ All Rights Reserved

23 thoughts on “Signs

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  1. Hi Lindsay, sorry I’ve been a bit lax this week – I’ve had an exceptionally band and a hard week, so I’m a bit behind with blogging. But I love this post, as I do all your work. You take some amazing photos and these are blow-your-socks-off good! I love the idea of a boulder sitting there ‘like an impertinent child’. Brilliant. Lovely imagery and verse. It reminds me a bit of the mountains in North Wales, near where I’ll be walking Edward 1st’s castles this summer, you get great boulders fall down there too – but luckily not usually on the road. Wonderful writing and stunning pics as always. And thanks for sharing. 🙂

    1. Oh Alli, I’m so sorry to hear about your difficult week. As always, you are so kind to spend your time reading and leaving wonderfully inspiring and heart warming comments. And I appreciate you for it. But I also want you to know that I know you’re there regardless of how often you visit. And I think that’s a very cool thing. And I know how busy you are. I’m happy to see you whenever you find a spare moment. Thank you for the kind words. It truly was a perfect day for pictures and the area was almost surreal. Pretty funny for a bunch of rocks. And I’m so excited for your summer Castle tour! Not only because I can’t wait to explore with you through your words, but because I know it will be a well deserved vacation for you after these months of school. I hope the weekend fares better for you! And I hope you get a chance to get out and get a breather! Take care of you! And thank you so much for spending time here!

      1. Oh bless you, Lindsay, you’re very kind and I appreciate your understanding. Believe me, when comes to your blog I’m not going anywhere! And I agree that those rocks look almost surreal – I could see them as characters, different people, and it’s almost as though you could hear their individual stories! I’m planning on having a day off today, and the sun is shining, so hopefully we can get out and do something medieval! I hope you have a great weekend too, and to keeping in contact over our various adventures! 🙂

      2. It can’t come soon enough! Many thanks and I’ll be back to read more of your amazing posts tomorrow. 🙂

  2. Ohhh! Lovely scenery and memory. And you add another singsong just like that. 🙂 Signs are everywhere, that’s for sure. One of the rocks looked like a seal to me. I wonder what this means…

    1. lol. Maybe you have a secret balancing-a-ball-on-your-nose trick you’ve been hiding from us?? Thank you, Manja, for spending some time here and letting me share this magic moment. I appreciate you! 🙂

  3. Great shots of those immovable rocks. I remember those ‘Beware falling rocks ’ signs on the Pan American highway going to Ecuador. There were humongous rocks littering the road and potholes the size of craters. It was a very scary ride indeed as our coach driver thought he was Speedy Gonzales. 😳

    1. Lol. Too funny. I guess they’re a lot less scary when you’re used to them. Or then again, maybe he’s like us and testing your ability to outrun rocks. Lol. Seems a funny thing to have to try to do. Thanks for the visit!!

    1. Oh Yes! We always say nature is the true artist and we are the witnesses! Very lucky witnesses at that! And I’m glad you liked those photos – thank you for the detailed viewing – the scale did, indeed, make the place that much more magical! Thank you so much for the visit! And for taking the time to leave such kind comments! I truly appreciate it!

  4. What!?!? Santa doesn’t exist?!??! Say’s who..? He must do, you can track him on NORAD and everything!

    Another great and very interesting post, those boulders are blooming massive, I wouldn’t want one falling on Ratty, it’d flatten him! As ever, great words backed up by stunning pictures and stories – I always look forward to reading your posts and this one is no exception.

    Enjoy your adventures!

    1. Lol. That’s funny. I do expect to see the Easter Bunny out here in the woods.

      They are crazy big! Surreal, even. Whenever we drive through those warning areas, we try to plan how to outrun boulders. I picture us maneuvering through the roads like Frogger!

      And thank you! Same here!

  5. Hi L – you surprised me with the photo essay ending – so nice.
    beautiful lead into it with your chant/poem (gosh – I hate to say another book comes to mind – but your writing sometimes, like in this post, reminds me of: Did you feed my cow?: Street games, chants, and rhymes (Burroughs, 1969). I just gave my old copy away last year – and the 25 year-old values it – because it is a culture rich book that shows a side of words and word play not everyone gas access to –
    anyhow, I did not skim the post at all so I just read – and you went from the bit of history and the terrain talk to the little chant – to the beautiful photos.

    1. Thank you. 😊 I’m in the middle of a very long, very steamy, lifelong love affair with books. So fire away. Lol. I do know did you feed my cow. My sister-in-law does a duet with my niece. My niece does the yes ma’am, squish squish, squish parts. They come out skish skish skish though. She’s 2. I’ve always been drawn to chanty rhymes and poems. Just the sounds words can make. I loved Silverstein and Lear and Dr Seuss growing up. Thank you for your careful reading. I hadn’t meant on adding the flower pic at the end, but when I was going through them, it struck me as a nice bit of determination in a crumbling world. So I’m glad you liked it. We often have spotty internet out here in the boonies. The other night we threw in Elizabethtown. One of my very favorite movies. Your site reminds me of this movie.

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