Greeted by the soft light of the amber evening sun, long shadows, the smell of horses and clean air, and the close rush of the Rio, now a foot lower on the bank than it was five days earlier as we were preparing to depart.
Home. Simple and pure. A little one room log cabin, now flanked by a storage shed and a simple deck of scrap wood connecting the two. There, where I stand in the morning sun and wash my dishes in two well worn steel tubs of water heated on the old cook stove.
We settle in, lighting the Coleman lantern and that old stove and feel very happy to be home. Home in all its simplicity. Home for now.
Away from the fancy Four Star hotel and restaurant fare served on real plates with cloth napkins with smiling faces who were used to strangers coming and going when I carried on with a sense of permanence, ever changing but understood by hotel staff.
Here, home, back where I can clear my mind with the sound of the river pulsing through the open door, the thin old panes of glass on closed windows. I stir the pot simmering on the stove, stuff in another chunk of wood, and stare out into the disappearing view. Close by, Gunnar runs in circles in his favorite patch of long, wet grass. His home. For a moment, he is wild, and I let him be.
We step out for our evening ritual of brushing teeth under the stars, a fine necessity when one is without indoor plumbing, and the smell of wood smoke lingers like a heavy incent, frankincense in the church at Christmas when I was a child.
My temple, I think now, as I stare up into the ever expanding array of stars, and the Milky Way sweeps liberally across and down to the south east in a cloud of open promises.