What a difference a season makes

Wandering with friends yesterday took us back to Gray Spring, a little-known gem tucked deep in the hollers near Yellville. For those who didn’t catch my description the first time we visited, it’s a natural artesian well, pure water erupting from a concrete head.

We’ve seen Gray Spring now in three seasons. Its character has been different each time — from a noisy cascade in the spring to a much more modest flow in the autumn of the year. Here are images from two previous visits, plus a shot from yesterday.

Striking, isn’t it? We all acknowledge changes in the natural world as it eases from one season to another — colors and density of foliage, stream levels rising and falling. A feature like Gray Spring, though, gives us clues about what happens out of our sight.

I’m sure we’ll return to see what it looks like in winter.


I woke up this morning with a knee-buckling migraine, brought on by decades-old nerve damage in my neck. That hasn’t happened in months, but when it does I have a routine to deal with it. And that takes a while.

Once I began feeling more human I made myself a cup of coffee. Out here on the road we always use filtered water, scrubbed of pathogens, toxins and minerals by our countertop Berkey, but this morning I made my coffee with water gathered yesterday afternoon at Gray Spring.

The natural minerals in that spring water made a difference — hard to describe, but it turbocharges the flavor. I can’t wait to make percolator coffee with the stuff.

For that I’ll need more water from Gray Spring. And probably a bag of CAF from the true Americans at Black Rifle Coffee Company.


Our visiting friends travel with a Harley in their toy-hauler motorhome. Since bouncing back from my migraine will have me down for much of the day, we’ve turned them loose to explore the area’s roads. The Ozarks of northern Arkansas might be the best-kept secret in motorcycling — simply spectacular riding, even more so in the fall of the year.

I’m not quite sure what the rest of this day will bring. Recuperating, certainly, in my own way.

That’s what pervades everything these days — this is our American Life, and we’re living it our way. For too many years we allowed ourselves to be confined by our own responsibilities and others’ expectations.

No longer.

Oh, it’s not a complete lark. We still attend to the necessities of life. What’s different in this season of our existence is that no one — and I mean no one — gets to tell us when we may speak and when to be silent, what we must do and what we must avoid, what to value and what we should discard.

We cede power to no one. It’s the very definition of Liberty.

Take care of yourselves, Patriots. Stay calm. Stay sharp. Stay free.

#WiseUp #LibertyOrDeath

#LetsGoBrandon