The Northers

Then there were the “Northers,” which the heavy winds that swept down the Cajon Pass from the Mohave desert were called. They were much more severe then and sometimes very cold, blowing for about three days at a time. Many people treated them as they would rainy weather, and by way of derision, they were sometimes called “Mormon rains,” coming as they did by way of San Bernardino. They often came before the rains and when sheep had been pastured in the early summer the surface of the ground was cut into fine dust and we would have a dust storm which would cover the inside of the houses with dust. Since the land was planted and roads oiled, the “Northers” have lost most of their disagreeable features. Being dry they clear the atmosphere and are one of the beneficial features in our healthy climate.

History of San Bernardino County – John Brown Jr., 1922

The Rorrim Mirror

Introduction

Savan Navas examined himself in the mirror above the dresser. He studied himself; his eyes, his nose, and mouth. He studied the pores in his skin, character lines in his face; these were made from laughing, crying, and talking, and singing, living a full and enjoyable life. He looked good.

Savan completed his inspection and paused–then he watched himself turn around and walk out the door.

Savan was shocked. He froze. What did he just see himself do?

“Should I follow?” He smiled at the thought.

Leaving seemed easy enough–however, for some reason he could not remember ever leaving before.

“If I go, what do I do?

What is beyond the door? Where do I go? What do I do when I get there?”

Savan could not remember any of these things.

“Nowhere,” Savan thought. “Out there is nowhere.”

He was still looking straight into the mirror. He hadn’t moved a muscle.

He felt fear. Savan felt fear. It came up from behind, from a dark place that had always been there, off to the side, somehow. He was aware of this darkness–this was new to Savan.

His fear is not unfounded as he cannot remember anything more than what happened in the mirror. He had no memories.

Savan wondered if he may be the reflection.

It was a subtle agony that overtook him as he realized he may be nothing more than a reflection of a man, and this was his existence in total. If he turned around there may be nothing. This was the fear. Nothing. Fear nothing.

“What if I am the reflection and the real me left the room?

“Is this what happens every day? “

If it were his destiny, to be ephemeral, he fretted, he may cease to exist once he turned, looked away to move to the door on his side of the glass–to try to leave the room and face a future.

Since he could not recall a past there was nothing, and he could not imagine a future without a past to gauge it by.

Still, he felt cold and empty.

“Do I exist at this exact moment?”

“Certainly, I do not exist to the me that left the apartment.”

To have doubts that you are here or just this fleeting spark of thought, a neurologic activity that jumps through space as particles of energy–a reflection.

As long as I am conscious of my reality I am real. I am looking into the mirror and not seeing my reflection which may indicate that if I look away (turn around) I may no longer be capable of maintaining my reality and that I am the ephemeral reflection.

Or will I be able to walk through that door into an uncertain reality, a future, and live from this point forward free of preconceptions and learned behavior?

Savan turns to leave the room.

Is it real? Without Savan there may well be no room, no door, no mirror.

Savan has slipped into nothingness. He had no idea where he went in reality–when he walked out that door–however, now, this may not have happened at all.

Agua Mansa

Traders in the caravans coming to California did not just trade with those at the missions, but with any group or community they came across. The little settlement of Agua Mansa enjoyed the benefit of being the first village of any size once the mule trains dropped in from the mountains after crossing the deserts.

Agua Mansa cemetery

It was called Aqua Mansa, meaning Gentle Water, and was composed entirely of immigrants from New Mexico, numbering some 200 souls–simple, good souls they were, too, primitive in their style of living, kind and hospitable to strangers, rich in all that went to make people happy and content, never having been, up to that time, vexed by the unceremonious calls of the tax collector, owing allegiance to none save the simple, kindhearted old priest who looked after their spiritual welfare. With peace and plenty surrounding them, the good people of Aqua Mansa went to make as contented and happy of people as could be found in the universe.

Bell, Horace, Reminiscences of a Ranger – 1927