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Wednesday, November 28, 2007

Treasure


This is an excerpt from "Embrace the Wonder," a collaborative book/music project in progress...

Forty miles to the east of Phoenix, there is a land of beauty and legend known as the Superstition Wilderness. Somewhere in this vast and rugged land, many Arizonans believe there is a hidden treasure of gold. For over a hundred years, the legend of the Dutchman’s Mine has spawned intrigue and given rise to treasure hunters who fantasized and dreamed of the old west.

It’s a fact that the Dutchman used to venture out into this wilderness with his mule and return with his sacks filled with gold( few pieces of which are still around today and whose chemical composition matches no known gold mine in the world.) This is what gives hope to the faithful.

Many seekers return day after day; some have abandoned civilization altogether in order to live out there among the saguaro cactus and rattlesnakes until they find their treasure. But it's not just gold they seek. They long for simple times and dream of days gone by. Days when cowboys rode tall in their saddles and slept outdoors under the stars of the wild frontier.

As for me, I’m just a city slicker looking for some adventure. Each time I’m out there, I search with child-like exuberance. Didn’t we all at one time dream of finding some treasure such as a pirate’s buried chest or a dinosaur bone? Isn't it every child’s fantasy to unearth what’s lost or hidden?

The Dutchman found his treasure and left few clues to its location. He wanted us to look for it. On his death bed, he not only confessed to killing two Indians who were mining the gold when he first came upon it, he also offered riddles and drawings which no one has yet deciphered to date. In town, you could purchase several varieties of treasure maps that will only leave you five dollars poorer, standing under the hot sun scratching your head. Occasionally the streams give up a small nugget or enough gold dust to pay for a few drinks at the saloon near by, where you could feel like you’ve stepped back in time. Out front, horses are tied to posts, and men-with six shooters on their sides and spurs on their boots walk through the swinging doors with the earth still under their fingernails from a long day of searching.

One day, I headed out past Weaver’s Needle, a towering smooth rock that gives some reference when you’re out wandering through the mesmerizing landscape. It was well over one hundred degrees and there wasn't a single shade tree in sight. I’d never been out this far before, but something told me to go on. I climbed hills and descended into valleys; moved rocks and chipped away at boulders to no avail. Then suddenly, a reflection caught my eye. A hundred yards up the side of a rocky outcropping, I could see a metallic glimmer. I climbed furiously, slipping and sliding back two steps for every three I took forward. My heart pounded with anticipation. My eyes burned as sweat dripped down my face. Somehow, I managed to get there. A few swipes with my pick axe, and the shining element was loose. In my hand lay a nugget the size of a nickeL. But it seemed as big as the gold of El Dorado. This child has found his buried treasure at last...at least enough to keep him coming back to dig for whatever is hidden by mystery and buried in legend. I’ll be back next weekend just like everyone else, who is trying to discover the old minier's secret. However, a part of me hopes that the mother lode is never found. I don’t need the gold that badly. It’s the adventure I seek. The mystery of the past and the promise of the future, which keeps man’s dreams alive like that of a child. That’s the real treasure. So let the Dutchman have his way. Let the search continue...

2 comments:

Struggle For Justice said...

There was a TV special I saw a few years ago about the Dutchman legend.It's been quite a few years since he passed away and nobody has even come close to making a discovery. It makes me wonder if there really is such a site.

There was an old prospector in California who had been searching for a mother lode in that state. Johnny Carson had the man on his show. He was very cagey, never giving a clue.

Bennie said...

"Never giving a clue" Just like the dutchman eh? -:) Now I wish I'd seen that show.

SFJ-Thanks for stopping by.

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