Rabid Fun

John Cowart's Daily Journal: A befuddled ordinary Christian looks for spiritual realities in day to day living.

Monday, November 17, 2008

Together We Climbed Kolomoki Mound

To celebrate our 40th Anniversary Ginny and I rented a cabin in the woods of southwestern Georgia at Seminole Lake State Park which is near…

Actually, it’s not near anything.

And one day we climbed Kolomoki Mound which is near…

Well, in giving us directions the ranger at Seminole said, “It’s more in the middle of nowhere than this place is”.

When we arrived at our cabin, a flock of Canadian geese greeted us; Ginny counted 64 and new flocks migrated in every day.

The geese waddled out of the lake to graze in the pine straw right in front of our rocking chairs on the cabin porch.

One day a team of rangers raked up wagon loads of pine needles around our cabin. Ginny, wearing her Seminole shirt, posed for a photo beside one wagon load:

I’m smiling because I don’t have to rake leaves till we get back home:

Every day we rocked and talked and hiked and snuggled on cold nights before a blazing fireplace. This was a time of celebration, and getting acquainted again, and catching up on our reading, and recharging our spiritual batteries.

Not sure how effective that last goal was. I carried along a Bible and a prayer book but didn’t even crack the cover of either one. The most spiritual thing I encountered came from my favorite Stephen King novel, Desperation, in which a drunk minister tells an 11-year-old boy, “You’ve had a conversion… The job of the new Christian is to meet God, to know God, to trust God, to love God. That’s not like taking a list to the supermarket either, where you can dump stuff into your basket in any order you like. It’s a progression, like working your way up the math ladder from counting to calculus. You’ve met God, and rather spectacularly, too. Now you’ve got to get to know Him”.

I needed that reminder.

Thanks, Mr. King.

Every day Ginny and I enjoyed long walks in the woods. This area of the wilderness is called “Wiregrass Country”:

That’s a beaver pond in the distance; here’s a closer view:

On our anniversary we drove into the middle of no where to visit the Kolomoki Mound complex, a cluster of Indian burial and temple mounds which radiocarbon tests date to about 1,920 years ago, that’s about A.D. 30. Some of the mounds in the complex were destroyed by agriculture, road building, or development but seven of them remain. The Indians abandoned the site—no one knows why—a bout a thousand years before Europeans arrived in the New World. Therefore, much speculation about the various types of mounds on site exists.

The Georgia Park Service build a museum into the side of one excavated burial mound. Apparently someone important was cremated and the remains raked into a deep stone-lined pit; then two warriors were strangled and buried there as an honor guard, and several trophy skulls and a collection of effigy pottery placed as a mound of clay was raised above the initial grave.

In this photo the burial pit is to the left and a sacrificed guard in the foreground:

Here are some intact pots and effigy figures from the mound:

Mound A, the largest remaining mound in the complex, rises 56 feet above a plaza between it and another burial mound. The base of the truncated pyramid measures 325 feet by 200 feet. Apparently Indians got to the top via an earthen ramp, but in the 1940s the Corps of Engineers build cement stairs into the side of the mound.

Here is a photo of Ginny half-way up those stairs:

I made it to the top too:

In the distance over my left shoulder you can see a burial mound across the plaza. Archaeologists speculate that the plaza was used as a playing field for a ball game called… Sorry, I’ve forgotten the name of the game. It consisted of competing teams from various tribes or villages trying to get a ball through a ring on a pole. Apparently game winners and spectators killed and possibly ate the loosing team.

Super Bowl just ain’t what it used to be.

Anyhow, in spite of what our doctor says about our age and medical conditions, Ginny and I both made it, panting with frequent rest stops, all the way to the top of the mound—where we kissed.

Ginny quipped, “The couple that wheezes together, squeezes together”.

That’s how we celebrated our first 40 years of marriage, happy, climbing together, watching geese, reading, cuddling by the fire, rocking on the porch, listening to the wind in the pine needles.

Were anyone to ever write my biography, it would be a love story.

So we begin year 41.

If God continues to give us love and health and strength and mental stability we’ll climb to higher heights. Or maybe sink to lower depths… Whether our journey is moving into the sunrise or into our sunset, we feel we’re just getting started.

Please, visit my website for more www.cowart.info and feel free to look over and buy one of my books www.bluefishbooks.info
posted by John Cowart @ 12:23 PM


At 7:26 PM, Anonymous Carolyn T. said...

Absolutely beautiful!

At 1:33 AM, Blogger Felisol said...

Dear John C,
thank you for sharing this momentous journey to an land and a site and a time I only have read about.
In your writing and pictures, I feel I've been there too.
I like "the couple wheezing and squeezing together."

I have read some novels by the recent deceased Tony Hillerman, but he's sceneries are longer south, I think. Never knew much about Georgia and its first inhabitants.
Georgia to me is Margaret Mitchell, Georgia on my mind and Georgy girl.
Oh, am I an ignorant.

Happy belated anniversary, and God bless your next years to come.
From FElisol

At 6:16 AM, Blogger Jellyhead said...

What a wonderful way to spend your anniversary. I'm glad you both enjoyed your break away.

How funny that you received some words of spiritual guidance in a Stephen King novel! ... and I'm sure if it makes you think, and re-examine your faith, then it is just as valid in many ways as a meaningful tract from the bible.

All the best to you and Ginny both.

At 11:22 AM, Blogger Amrita said...

Great to read about this.

I subscribe to your posts by bloglines and since a long time Bloglines was not indicating any new post, so now i am cathing up


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