By Charles Towne

Written while driving through the medicine mound area of Texas on Highway 287.

I speed across a land of memories, of hopes, of dreams. In hours I travel distances that would have taken days of hard riding to cover In a Conestoga wagon150 years ago. I pull off to the side of the road, stop; climb out of my truck and stand there, gazing into the distance. All is still. Suddenly, a breeze kisses my cheek and I hear a sound; no, I feel the sound. I turn and stare in wonder.

It can’t be.

I not only hear them but I see them, smell them, taste the dust stirred up by their multitude. The ground trembles beneath their hooves while the very air pulsates with the power and magnificence of their passing. The herd is vast! There must be thousands of them, no, tens of thousands. I have never fancied time travel but here I am, in another time, another dimension. As far as I can see the herd of buffalo blackens the landscape to the horizon and beyond. Then, quite suddenly, I see something else. Seemingly out of the ground, out of what must be a dry creek bed, an arroyo, rides a group of men on horseback, five, six, no, seven Indians. They pull up and sit their restless mounts as they also watch the herd of buffalo thundering past. The great horned beasts ignore the red men for this is natural, as it should be, the way it has always been. One of the Indians turns and gazes in my direction. He shakes his head, and then, shielding his eyes against the sun’s glare with one hand, he stares, long and hard. He obviously speaks to his companions for now they also turn and search the landscape. He points at me and his companions scan the land where I stand in an effort to see that which their companion thinks he sees. But then, I need not be concerned for they cannot see me, I am in another time, another dimension. They turn back to study the herd, and then, in single file, one by one they drop out of sight into that same dry wash from whence they had come. One Indian remains, he who first looked in my direction. Controlling his horse with knee pressure he turns and stares, his curiosity obvious. But then, surely he cannot see me? He starts to follow his companions but then, quite suddenly he turns toward me again, heeling his horse into a gallop. 
When he is within a stone’s throw he pulls up and stares boldly. In his right hand he carries a war lance and to judge from the way he holds the lance he knows how to use it.

He stares at me and then at the herd of buffalo that still thunders past in the distance.

Then, shifting the lance to his left hand he raises his right hand, palm toward me in a gesture of friendship. A smile crosses his face as he studies me. He looks toward the buffalo again and I notice that the herd is beginning to thin. He points at the herd and then at me. I am not sure what he means. Then, raising the lance, he stabs it into the ground, and, turning, he rides away. Just before vanishing into the wash that his friends have ridden into, he turns once more and waves, a friendly gesture, across time. I wave back. Then he is gone and the thundering herd of buffalo disappears into the distance, and then, all is still. Have I been dreaming? But wait, there, standing upright where he left it is the war lance! Could it be? The lance is obviously decorated with feathers for they move and flutter in the faint breeze as I walk forward.

The buffalo are gone, as is my Indian friend, but the lance, the war lance is still there! As I approach the lance the spell is suddenly broken, for there, standing where it was driven into the earth is a surveyor’s stake, those feathers fluttering in the wind nothing but orange surveyors ribbon.

Lord, please help us to be what you want us to be. Help us to be respectful of others, to honor our neighbor as we wish to be honored, to love as we want to be loved, and to offer the hand of friendship to them that offer it to us in sincerity. Help us to love as you love. Thank you O Holy one, in Jesus wonderful name we ask it, Amen

Charles Towne is first and foremost a Christian. An octogenarian, author, journalist, wildlife photographer, naturalist, caregiver, and survivor, his life has been and continues to be, a never-ending adventure filled with possibilities never imagined. He has adopted the philosophy that to Live fully, laugh uproariously, love passionately, and learn like there is no tomorrow, is a formula for a long and joy-filled life.


  1. Yes…so important! This article conjured up incredible images of another time and place. Felt almost as if I was there! Great work Charles….

  2. Dear N.H., Thanks so much for the comment. I remember how it made me feel several years ago when, on a trip through Montana and then North into British Columbia, Canada, seeing herds of buffalo. One herd contained two or three hundred animals, enough to conjure images of vast herds that at one time roamed wild. The buffalo have pretty well been obliterated in the name of progress. The surveyors ribbon also symbolized progress, but progress at what a terrible cost? As I drove away from that spot there were tears in my eyes for what had once been. We need to be judicious because there comes a time when there is no more, no more, no more…

  3. Wow! That story really touched my heart. I have a soft spot for animals, a soft spot for Indians or anyone else being mistreated.
    I understand that time cannot stand still for anyone or anything. The sands of change are blown and tossed about by the winds and storms throughout history, whether they be natural or caused by humans. We have a God-given resposibility to care for what He created, even as progress moves forward. I felt totally connected to this story and thank you for that, Chuck! You are blessed with creativity. Keep up the good work!

  4. As I read this, I felt as if I was there with you. What a wonderful trip back to a time I would loved to have lived in myself. Beautifully written Chuck. God bless!

  5. Dear CSG, Thanks so much. Let us always be aware of each element of life. Let us also be not only aware of the fact that as life touches us, but so does death. This is not to be feared for it is part of the journey into eternity with our loving God. Blessings on you dear friend, Chaz

  6. Don, could it be that as Christians the greatest gift we can give to the world is our perception of a loving God? Yes, Let it be said of each of us that we have shared a loving God. You speak of a trip back in time, let others see Jesus as He really is in us for he is God made man that we can have immortality. I want to be like Christ. Blessings on you pal, Chaz

  7. Beautiful imagery! I also like the idea of multiple dimensions. Who knows what the Creator has wrought throughout the cosmos? The beginning from the end? The end from the beginning? The possibilities are endless . . . all things are possible.

  8. Hello Charlie my friend how are you can right. Waiting for your weekly articles every come in this Saturday of life for me. Your prose and imagery our wonderful and habit forming. Thank you. Herb

  9. Judith, Thanks so very much. So many people are embarrassed that they don’t have all the answers. Not having the answers was no longer an issue with me once I realized that I didn’t even have the questions! Most of us are only able to see with our eyes, but once we see with our entire being then the red rose is no longer a red rose, no, it becomes myriad shades of red infused with hints of unknown colors so vast we must conclude that we are in reality blind to the physical world. I know that you are acquainted with the wonders of time lapse photography. Imagine that you are able to see the miracle of time lapse as Papa God intended and the flower doesn’t just mysteriously open, huh uh, it dances! Blessings dear one, Chaz

  10. Herb, I can’t even began to tell you what your kind words mean to me, High praise indeed. I have arrived at the place in my life where pleasing others is possibly my most soul satisfying endeavor. Much of my life has been spent in self serving, but no more. If we can bless others, what an honor. May Abba bless you with a great sense of peace and fulfillment in all that you undertake at this challenging time in your life my friend. Chaz

  11. Thank you Charles, your creativity and anointed story telling brings these events to life. You are truly gifted and I know Papa is well pleased. Prayers lifted for you and Nancy and know that you are loved in Washington.

  12. Mark, thanks so very much pal. I certainly hope all is going well for you and yours. May God bless and keep you my brother, Chaz

  13. Love your stories, the last two have featured native americans and the almost mystical events that occur when different cultures interact and men of honor meet! Somehow it reminds me of the stories I read when I was young, the adventure, the panorama of the wide open spaces, those things that would excite my imagination! Keep them coming Chaz,they give me something to look forward to reading!

  14. Ahh Richard, so many many stories just yearning to be told and so small amount of time. As long as I have breath and the will I will write. I am pleased that my poor efforts bring you pleasure. May Papa God bless you and keep you my friend, Chaz


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