WEST

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Small pine growing on the first mountain ridge in upstate SC on Hwy 276, Mountain Bridge Wilderness

This Westward trek was inevitable. We’re just following the collective subconscious movement of all the race.

If the first humans came from Mesopotamia, they, too, were pulled by the West, until in Egypt they settled. Soon the world shifted its center a bit further West, to Rome and Europe. Romans and Mohammedans alike never made it past Iberia, with the daunting Atlantic too great a monster to conquer, until the next generation, or the next, and suddenly mounted, bearded conquistadores were forging ever Westward in a New Land.

My geographic ancestors were the only “settlers” brave enough to see the Appalachians not as a wild barrier to be feared and never crossed, but as a land of unending freedom, a tiny wall easily hopped. Governors and commoners alike claimed lands running unimpeded to the Pacific, but none save my spiritual forefathers ever dared to walk boldly into the West, unchecked by bear, wolf, cat, or native. The unsuspecting locals were caught up in the rush, pushed on out West even despite all laws and common decency. Frontier settlements became mere pauses on the road to Destiny, and the population set out again.

Blissfully unaware of trivial ideas like restraint or conservation, the common man followed in the footsteps of the Greats, and proved that not even continents can stop us. Now, when scant generations separate me from the first white man to ever see the buffalo, I hop, skip and jump my own way West.

We have conquered the entire Universe, already, as a species. It started when the first tribes became brave enough to set out to Beyond the Horizon, to face down that brilliant Setting Sun, and we’ve never looked back since. Our domination of even the stars and galaxies is inevitable, and I feel the truth of this in every step I take, each day that breaks, every gallon of gasoline and mile of road in the rearview – this progression is beyond our control. Since first man walked, he has been moving Westward, and will not stop even if all the corners of existence lay charted on a map. When we find the edges of the stars, we shall still find ways to explore and continue ever onward…

Or perhaps those ways simply find us….

NB

All works and content on this blog are the sole creation and intellectual property of Nicholas Biddle, unless otherwise credited. They may not be reproduced or reused in any way without specific permission.

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