Scott Stillman

"There is magic in stillness. That place where all thought stops, and only beauty remains."


Excerpt from Chapter 3
Uncompahgre Wilderness, Colorado

Thunder barrels through the canyons, echoing off the walls of petrified skyscrapers. Rain pounds against tent fabric, saturating my dreams in an ocean of sound. The storm is alive, a living, raging organism. Rather than a witness, I feel myself part of it. I'm no longer sure what's real and what's fantasy, where the dreams end and reality begins, or if there is even a difference. 

Awake again. Water droplets rhythmically hit my forehead. Tap. Tap. Tap. Condensation raining down on me from the roof of my tent, caused by the heat of the morning sun. Rays of light stream through the door, blinding me as I open my eyes. A low fog blankets the morning in a purple hue. I climb out to prepare coffee. The air is brisk, magical. An elk bugles, a hummingbird buzzes, and I'm overwhelmed with intense gratitude. It's a new morning, and a great day to be alive.

Beyond this island in the sky, over the ledge, one world disappears and another begins. I crawl out on my hands, knees, and stomach to get a closer look. When I peer over I freeze at a glimpse of inescapable beauty. Cow Creek Canyon plummets 4,000 feet, straight down to the canyon floor. This is Earth in its most raw state of natural beauty, perfection in every detail, terrain that can never be tamed, nor developed. Too wild. Too unreachable. Too sacred. Any improvement here would be devastation.

There is nowhere to hide. My alertness borders on intoxication, my senses excruciating. I think I've found the heart. The living, beating heart of this place. Not a single thought passes through my mind for what seems like an eternity. If the Holy Grail exists, I have found it. My very reason for existence, and reason I've come. Reality jerks me back into itself. How long can I tolerate such beauty? Such bliss? Before it swallows me whole, devouring me until I become a part of it myself. I'm not sure I'm ready for that. Not yet.

End of Sample.

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