The sky appeared above as a familiar lover
I have not slept with in years but still haunts me in my dreams
Spread out on top of, over, next to, entwined with me
I vaguely recognized the warmth against my back
Wind like lazy fingers through my loose hair
A recognizable sweet musky breath
Swelling wide above me was Colorado
Bright and blue, clean and open
A crisp dry chill through my nose and throat and lungs
As we climbed the hillside on the clearest day I’ve seen since moving here
It took me there and I was reminded there was not where I wanted to be
I left for a reason, for a hundred reasons
Finances and family, tourists and timing, altitude and in-laws
Histories I was placed into but don’t belong
A burning desire to change, expand horizons, ignite a new adventure
A secret hope to find the Forever Home
A desire to grow
Yes, just grow
As in a garden
A lilac bush and hollyhock
A pig that can put on some pounds
Funny the things that interest me.
My father just forwarded an article entitled “Curious Things about Colorado” which included the fact that Silverton, the town closest to us on our west, has no growing season. Really. None. On average, a total of two frost-free weeks per year. I was hoping it was more like four at our ranch. On a good year. After all, I have managed to scratch out lettuce, chard, kale and carrots from soil laden with mounds of horse manure piled and protected in raised garden beds we built from the old bridge across the Rio.
Yes. On a good year.
And still I look back and see an attractive comfort and that entices me. Because it was known. I could find and fill the coffee pot in no more than moonlight when I woke at my usual early hour. Know the number of Stellar Jays that would appear from the Blue Spruce each morning and squawk above my wool capped head until I spilled out their daily rations. I could tolerate the heavy storms and mornings out feeding the horses with the thermometer so low it read, “OFF” because I knew the sun would soon shine and from exactly what point on the eastern ridge it would pop its glowing head.
It is hard to let go of what you had when you have no clear picture of what you have.
So we are seduced by desires of the past. Holding tight to false hopes that we can carry the knowns and givens with us as we step forward into the future and find ourselves floundering in the present. Clinging to the safety of the side of the pool. Afraid to let go of the handhold. Not because I want to return. Yet that comfort temps, the familiar lover you can not leave because a warm body in bed is better than no body at all. At least that is what we are often told.
I challenge that assumption.
Easy for me to do as my lover lies safe and warm beside me and the thick gold band on my finger, combined with my stubborn sense of commitment, reminds us both we will watch each others wrinkles spread like the hoar frost down by the river bank and still lie next to one another and spoon close on cold nights many years from now.
Today we find ourselves out under a low grey sky, hats and shoulders turning white amid the first good snow of the season as we walk in the dream state that first days in a new place seem to necessitate.
And for today at least, I am freed of the burden of the seduction of the dazzling blue.
6 thoughts on “Seduced by earth and sky”
Wow. That was amazing; Beautiful. I loved it and connected with it in sooo many ways. Thank you!
That really takes me back to Wyoming and the deep-buried feelings I still have for the mountains. Especially while I am living in the city and hating it. Your work touches my soul.
I am glad if this touched a tender side, Lynn, I know it’s a close to home feeling for you. Somethings we should not let go of, but become a part of us we take with us wherever we go.
Rightly or wrongly I’m wondering what drives the vigour with which you clung to a harsh cold place with just a few weeks of growing season? Of course it’s none of my business. Yet there is a strand of self-denial inherent in the settling at such a place, as if one feels a need still to have rough edges removed, to prove some point long since proven, or to be kept separate from society. Is it purification or punishment? I have a sense that perhaps you are meant to live somewhere easier in order that you may grow to a new level just as the plants and animals thrive better in a less hostile place. The mountain has gifted you memories for a lifetime. But now there is too much beauty and perception in your thoughts and words for you to remain in exile.
A part of me would return to my mountain tomorrow if it could. But that door has closed, that trail is washed out. So it seems for you too. Too much looking over my shoulder and I’ll trip up. A little looking ahead and I see things that make me curious. I hope that you find much that is beautiful and fascinating on this new lower and more fertile trail.
As usual, Julian, your thoughts pull back additional layers into a deeper perspective. I’m intrigued with some of the points you raised, not right or wrong (most things are both, anyway), but clear if you’re willing to look. I need to take another look with some of thoughts (self denial, you ask – quite possibly) and will share a response soon. Thank you, as always, for making me think MORE.
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