Something was out of the ordinary...
"We come spinning out of nothingness, scattering stars...
the stars form a circle, and in the center we dance.
three naive adolescents, leave behind their mundane, predictable lives to pursue unconstrained passion and adventure. They find their way to Na’mow, a mountain hidden behind Boulder’s majestic Flatirons in Colorado’s Rocky Mountains. For two decades, they immerse themselves in their love of the land and the joys of family and friends while navigating a complex maze of infidelity, alcoholism, and loss.
All the while, the polarity of nature – the blizzards, windstorms, and wildfires coexisting within Na’mow’s mesmerizing landscape – serves to shape the character of these young, spirited, and undaunted women. But the story does not end there as unseen forces work to orchestrate the trio’s personal transformation into adulthood and prepare them for something completely out of the ordinary: the Circle of Na’mow, a place where the divine feminine is explored and celebrated.
Then, in 1996, a menacing force of nature challenges their love, faith, and resilience, and only one thing is certain:
It is coming.
"The Circle of Na'mow" is based on four days of the Walker Ranch Fire of 2000 and its many characters were inpired by the history of the mountain's real life inhabitants. Walker Ranch is on the National Registry of Historic sites. "When James A. Walker first came to the Boulder area from Missouri in 1869, he was sick with yellow fever and wanted only to breathe the Rocky Mountain air and to see some Indians before he died. It is said that he made his way to an Arapahoe Indian camp west of Boulder where a combination of mountain air, herbs, and Indian skill affected a cure for his illness." (From an interview with Leta Daniels, granddaughter of James Walker, by Judy Krukoff.)
With his health regained, Walker took work as a farm hand in the area, and after a series of odd jobs and several summers spent near the Arapahoe campsite, Walker was able to file a homestead claim on the land. By 1883 Walker and his wife Fidelia and son William lived in their newly constructed ranch home on the property, no longer occupying the old rough log cabin which had been built as a mountain supply store prior to 1865.
NA’MOW – The mountain didn’t favor the divinely feminine. The mountain didn’t play favorites. But the mountain understood strength, recognized courage, and rejoiced in change, growth, and the inevitable transition of Life.
“I am more than just a granite rock for I hold the imprints of All that have walked upon me, burrowed deep within me, flown above me, and swum within my waters. I carry the history of all these lives.”
Na’mow, this wondrously massive granite rock who bestows us with the feminine essence of ALL, is now your home. May you treat her and all things that call her home with respect and protect her integrity.
FIRE – A grateful respite from the wind lasted less than an hour. When it returned, it returned with increasing ferocity. The flames were relentless in their pursuit, destroying anything and everything in their path. Mother Nature had conspired to create the perfect conditions for a fast moving wildfire: a rainless summer, low humidity, a forest floor thick with natural kindling. Parched grasses, pine needles, twigs, and decaying branches ignited like a tinderbox. Densely populated acres of pine, juniper, and aspen trees awaited their fate.
Fire has its own methods of change; they are incomparable to a flood’s. A flood transforms the landscape with the same raw materials that were present when it began. A fire not only transmutes everything in its path but can also obliterate it, wiping it off the face of the earth and vanquishing it into the ethers.
By Day Three of any wildfire, you’ve either escaped or been destroyed.
Fire was one of the most unpredictable forces in nature. You could prepare and plan for the moment it struck, but you couldn’t plan for the sheer power and destructive force of the blaze, and you really couldn’t predict how you would react until it was breathing down your neck and threatening your future.
SUMMER 1974 – LOLA
People routinely asked her what kind of drugs she was on because they wanted some. Her standard reply was, “Drugs? I’m high on Life.”
Lola knew about death.
She was five when the car her dad was driving accidentally struck and killed her beloved cat, the one she called Tiger. Tiger’s mangled and bloodied body was sprawled out over the centerline of the street running out front of their house, and Lola remembered standing over her. Lifeless. Dead.
Thirteen years later, death struck again. This time it was her parents. A car accident: dead.
SUMMER 1974 – ELLA
Stupidity, she discovered, had big consequences, ones you had to live with forever.
The sky’s inky blackness accentuated the brightness of the full moon, mesmerizing Ella as she downed her second drink. Joan reappeared and introduced her to a couple of guys whose names she didn’t remember. She didn’t remember their names because Joan was handing her a joint at the same time. Ella didn’t know a thing about pot. But she sure as hell didn’t want to demonstrate her lack of worldly acumen in front of two guys she’d only just met, so she stared at the lighter’s flame at the end of the joint and inhaled her newfound freedom.
SUMMER 1974 – BRIDGET
The reality of leaving everyone and everything she had ever known behind gripped her heart, but fear was not going to stop her, not now, not ever.
This wasn’t a spur of the moment decision. The wild frontier of the Rocky Mountains had called to her ever since she was a child playing cowboys and Indians, and her heart yearned for the endless vistas and the impressive elevations. A place she could call home, a place where she felt connected to the land just like her ancestors had been connected to the misty moors of Ireland.
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