I hear the river only to realize it is no more than the rustle of last year’s life clinging to the trees, brown and thin and wrinkled like an old ladies flesh over bony fingers.
My Rio Grande awaits me. I hear her in the leaves, the wind, an SUV driving before daylight down the gravel and snowpack road on the hill below my apartment.
And now I am gone. Heading there. Back to her. To her wail and roar and brown fury bursting through frozen grounds.
The sound of the engine numbs me for hours today as I leave the past behind, a good past, a good winter, good people, the best friend I found since I was a child. And we drive, the same truck we’ve been driving since we met ten years ago, now towing a 24 foot trailer loaded down with horse tack smelling of the beasts I left behind, packed with snowmobiles, motorbikes and furnishings that transformed a little white walled north facing apartment into a cozy home. And three cats, one dog, and the two of us.
Loud rain on the truck, hard metal, cold pavement, wash away tears of goodbye.
If it wasn’t bittersweet, I wouldn’t be doing it right.
The forest wept a sweet farewell. The mildest winter I have had in years. Over night, it fell apart at the seams. Rain, pure and rich and heavy from the intensity of a magenta and steel grey sun rise rolling overhead so close I could almost touch it. Tenacious snow spilling white and wet from the secret sides of hidden trees on the north bank. Soft rain on hard metal roofs, tapping a familiar tune on my window sill awakens me. I am stirring back to life.
Farewell, I say, as I begin to leave. Shedding a new layer of skin. Her soft ways have pleased me but not drawn me in. Intense passions have been subdued. Somewhere through the rain streaked window in the hum and splash of traffic, I consider the tangled commitment to the land like legs of a lover beneath sweaty sheets. Passions reemerging. Perhaps with a familiar horizon.