Evening settles into a downpour. Deep and grey and heavy. Rain and hail, loud on the thin walls of the
tent. We are in here, dry, protected by
no more than thin canvas. More than
Lightening touches down above tree line across canyon. Our horses are out there with their heads
down, ignoring the massive blasts of thunder that heave onto the walls of the Divide,
rumble and roll around the peaks like water shaken in a glass jar, round and
round it seems while we sit cradled in the center, in the shelter of the tent. Yes, the tent I did not want to bring because
it somehow seemed decadent to have anything more than a tarp to crawl
under. Me, who likes it simple. Sleeping under a tree this month would have
left us wet and cold. We’re here to
work. A good night sleep is not a bad
idea. I conceded. I confess the boys were right again.
So here we are under a canvas roof with a small woodstove
hissing against the seeping sides of the stovepipe, water pouring off outside
walls filling buckets half full with sweet clean cold bounty free from the
generous sky. Allowing me one less trip
to the creek with sloshing buckets in each hand.
I sit by the open tent door and look out at the horses through
the shroud of heavy misty rain. They
remain seemingly unaffected. This has
happened to them before. Seems like
every night for the past few weeks. And
when we lead them into the shelter of trees at night and offer them a simple
handful of treats and a gentle touch, I smell deeply the musk of dampness on
their steaming coats that appear already to be thickening with the first hints
of winter fur.
Thunder begins on the other side of the tent now, the other
side of the Divide. Rain lightens and sky attempts to brighten, a brief flight
of sunlight through a weak spot in thin clouds.
And then the sun will drop down beyond the Pyramid, the high point on
the mountain we know is there but cannot see.
Blind faith. Like knowing we’ll
see the sun and be warmed and dried when morning comes.
Now our vision is limited to the valley and the foothills of
the mountain across from us, a familiar face hidden behind a veil of heavy
clouds, hardly demure, but strong and powerful.
Comforting in her solid feel. There, a mother and baby moose cross
between our horses and the trail that leads up and away into the clouded
shrouded horizon. The little fellow
scampering with gangly legs only partially in control, playfully ahead of
mother, who nervously runs to keep up, ahead, protect, do what a good mother
They are unconcerned with our horses who out there now remind
me what a giant step closer to wild they are than me.
Me, safe and warm and sealed off from the elements by
nothing more than a tent. Which too
often, is enough to separate. And I feel
the growing rift when what I want is connection. How we fool ourselves to believe we too are a
part. For only a never lasting moment.