A wild strawberry under frosty leaves

Heavy rains, a comforting wrap about the shoulders of the
mountain.  I walk the ditch tucked under
the wide brim of my hat and the soft canopy of trees with fewer needles than I
remember each year.

It has been a while since I could walk with her alone, in
silence and peace.  Who would guess the
disruption of a puppy would have such an impact?  He’s a different sort.  Still after a year, we don’t fit together
like Alan and I did.  I miss the silent
old dog always by my side companionship.
It will be hard earned, but it will come.

Or perhaps my feeling of separation from the mountain on
which I walk it is more than that.  Now
that I finally know we are leaving.  I
separate myself.  I don’t allow myself to
hold on.  It is not mine.  Then again, it never was.

Without a new land, a new plan, a new place to be connected
with, I am incomplete.

Have I ever been complete?


And now August.
Middle of the month already.  I
have trouble keeping track of, keeping up with time this time of year.  I wonder if it matters.  Subtle signs show me where and when.  A change of winds, of season, of
sunlight.  Mid day and the shadows are
already showing.  Longer, sharper,

Morning and the first frost settles in and across the open
meadow of the Divide, replacing the weeks’ worth of fog and cloud I became so
accustomed to seeing upon waking, walking through the tall grasses soaking my
pants to above my knees as I lead the horses, two by two, from the comfort of
the highline tucked into the trees to their early morning feeding on the lush
mountain grasses.

The hillside is sprinkled with tiny gems hiding beneath frosty
leaves.  Wild strawberries.  I watch every step, often end up crawling on
hands and knees to harvest a handful.

Sweet treats.  How
easy to overlook when we’re too focused forward to look at the ground before
us.  Changing ground.  Changing lives.  Reaping the harvest while it blooms.  What a pity if I had missed this.

4 thoughts on “A wild strawberry under frosty leaves

  1. Gin,

    How poignant an article you have written. I have that feeling sometimes as I leave a place that is truly special not knowing if I will see it soon or never again. Thanks for sharing a very strong emotion in words.

    Is ditch camp over for this year? Loved your photos on FB.

    I leave for Little Squaw via a few days in South Fork next Tuesday. Carolyn and I are looking forward to Lost Trail in a month.

    Safe travels and tell Forrest to follow his dreams. A little luck and a lot of hard work will see him through.

    Your friend, Al

    • Hi Al, Safe travels and I hope to see you fishing up this way…
      Thanks too for the words to Forrest. I believe he too is ready to fly!
      Done with ditch, starting to pack, and getting ready to hit the road for a couple weeks…

  2. “It will be hard earned, but it will come.” Gin I experienced these same feelings with Willie and Cody. I remember thinking we would never be as close as Nikki and I were but it did come gradually and I wonder if it was the same way with Nikki, too and that I just don’t remember it that way or maybe because I had never had a bond that strong with a dog and didn’t have anything to compare it to. I don’t know but I do know that it will happen gradually as he grows up. The bond will come, it may not be the same as what you had with Alan but it will come.

    • I feel you are so right, Karen, but the day to day of keeping him on leash and our battle of wills tires me of dreams for the future and a balanced relationship I so long for. Time, I’m sure you’re right, by time is so trying… and tiring! Your success with Little Diablo, now the Best of Breed, is a tremendous inspiration. “Just a dog,” they say. Ha!

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