I feel at home on this dirt road a few miles east of the Pacific Ocean and just north of the Mexican border. My parents lived here. I remember Thanksgivings and Christmases here. That only begins to explain my affinity for this dry mountain place that keeps calling me back to walk among giant granite boulders under flaming skies. I think of this place as mine. This land is my land? I have no legal claim, yet this place always welcomes me and calls me its own. What then should I say to the illegals walking north on this road, walking into this land their nation lost to mine in 1848? Lord, I have no ready answer.


Photo of sunset skies over Mother Grundy Truck Trail near Jamul, California.
Photo copyright 2015 and text 2017 by Danny N. Schweers.

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Comments from readers

Donna wrote:
So powerful - the image and the writing.👍

Marti wrote:
Wow, Danny! How breathtaking! God in all His Majesty & Glory!

Donna wrote:
Thank you, Danny, for your profound way of compelling all of us. This one stirred me to my core. I will place this in this week’s edition of the [New Castle Presbytery] Musings. Merry Christmas and Happy New Year to you and yours!

Anne wrote:
One answer might be this land belongs to you and me. Your poem expresses how I feel about Iona (off the west Coast of Scotland). I think of it as mine, but it belongs to everyone. Thanks, Danny!

James wrote:
I can relate, I love that countryside too, having spent some good time with an aunt and cousins who live east of San Diego around there. But Holy Moly is the border truly that open and porous as you indicate? [Danny replies: Large numbers of unauthorized immigrants continue to flow into the U.S., but they have moved away from the coast, trying to slip around the fences. Nationally, Border Patrol apprehensions peaked in fiscal 2000 with almost 1.7 million. Post 9/11 security measures and the recession contributed to a decline in these numbers. In fiscal 2016, the Border Patrol arrested 415,816 people — of which 31,891 were nabbed in San Diego County. See San Diego Union-Tribune, Jan. 27, 2017. http://www.sandiegouniontribune.com/news/immigration/sd-me-borderwall-update-20170124-story.html ]

Tom wrote:
I lived in Miami, a city of immigrants, for eighteen years. I would answer that question easily: Welcome!

Julie wrote:
Danny, I believe that the home turf those wanderers are leaving will eventually welcome them back "home," as this place welcomes you back, whenever you can return. Perhaps in the case of some of the wanderers, their home turf has become hostile for one reason or another, and what they are looking for is peace.

Virginia wrote:
A beautiful prayer - it looks like your “go to place” to de stress. Have a peaceful Christmas. Thank you for your prayers.

Cookie wrote:
Nobody can own a view, not even the government. That will always belong to you and even to those who are not free to walk there. Like the moon, it's yours every time you look at it. The color of your eyes or skin doesn't make a difference. Some people just don't get that.

Loretta wrote:
Beautiful! Merry Christmas! And thank you again for a year’s worth of inspiration and thought-provoking verse and beautiful photography. Guess I’ll have to wait for the book. 😉 No pressure! Have a blessed Christmas. And may your New Year hold many blessings, surprises, answered prayer and revelations of God's redemption and love for you through Jesus.

Ellen wrote:
And what to say to the Native Americans and all Americans who are losing huge percentages of national parkland? Stunning photo.

Craig wrote:
Been to Jamul many times myself. I have fun photo of a good friend of mine stretched out in front of the Natural Healing Waters sign, sipping from a large goblet. Somewhere on a nearby peak (maybe hidden in your picture) is a large empty Chardonnay bottle...a monument to a successful campaign....

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