I took myself to the mountains.
This need for space and beauty is a blessing and a curse. As the days draw to an end and I have spent far too much time on the computer or hunched over on my work bench, I feel a darkness catching hold of the freedom and lightness that I nurture within. It is then, that I know, the time has come to step out of my earthen walls and walk out into the open. To let space surround me, like water surrounds an island. To be lost in time and present in the now. To be reminded of simplicity and marvel at the wonders of wild. To see chartreuse greens, golden yellows, earth hardened browns and snow whites in their truest form. To stand beneath the Douglas-fir tree and remember what it is to live a life of service and humbleness.
As I step out of Tinctoria, I know I have come to the place my soul calls home. This place of stark granite against pure snow-white. The place where sage slopes into trees, trees slope into mountains and where the mountains meet the sky. This upward transition draws my body higher and higher. I am scanning the hillsides for treasures left behind. It is shed hunting season and I am eager to find as many antlers as I can, so I can make items of beauty for you.
The valleys are so tight here. I am reminded of how small I am in this world of nature. Directly west I catch a glimpse of a deer herd grazing. They have not sensed me yet as the wind is in my favor. I try to sneak closer to snap a photo. I quietly step through the sage filled slopes side-hilling in my favorite turquoise cowboy boots. I have brought the wrong footwear on this trip, but I do not let that stop me from continuing on. The largest buck just out in front of the rest of the does has sensed me. He perks his ears up and extends his neck tall. I do not even think to take my camera out as I am lost in the curiosity of his eyes. He knows I do not belong here, but has not decided that I am threat, yet. We stand there for a moment, each of us knowing the other one’s secrets. Each knowing the world is different from what we think it should be and wondering to ourselves how much longer do we have here.
I met elk, deer, coyote and hare on this trip. I heard owl and wolf as I fell asleep, bone tired and content, inside my beautiful VW in the evenings. I gave thanks to the stars and the babbling river that kept me company. I received solace and insight from Cormac McCarthy and Ivan Doig. I found beauty in the history of the land. I gave thanks to the people working and care-taking the land. I honored what my spirit needed, and that is important.