like leaving a lover
on one hand
and with the other
holding onto my hat
as we dive down into the wind
Sometime just past noon, the cabin is drained, power shut down, everything put away well enough. Food scraps and the remains of the cookie jar set out for the Steller’s jays, magpies and pair of ravens that will have to make do without us for a while. Another pack rats caught in the trap under the house tossed out into the snow. Christmas lights taken down and put in away in the attic. Four boxes of food for a friend in town clean out the fridge. And everything we’ll need for nearly four months away, piled and packed into the toboggan sled hooked behind the snowmobile.
Funny to be so bundled up in down jackets, long johns and thick winter boots. We’re heading towards mid summer. Such is travelling to the other side of the world. People do it all the time. I never have.
I’m not going to say deep farewells this year. I’ll be back soon enough. Long enough. I’m in no rush. Leaving behind the worse snow we remember. Bad snow. For us that means: not much. Better that we’re not sticking around wishing for something we do not have. Elk tracks down on the reservoir flats make it look like a feed lot without fences. They coyote are loving life. Feasting on snowshoe hare that are also abundant this year. Their advantage lost in low snow.
Just past two weeks after Solstice and you see the difference. Already I feel the sun stronger on exposed flesh. My hands without gloves for the first time this year. Nose and cheeks, weathered and creased skin at the corners of eyes and lips and it feels so good. It feels. I remember last winter in northern Washington where the sun held no power of touch during the deep of winter, filtered by mauve light under the soft inversion.
Last night I stepped out to walk with the dog under the brilliant and unlimited depth of our night sky to say farewell. I will not see the same constellations for nearly four months. And although I’ll be a in “remote” location, I can only guess it won’t be this many miles away from another light, another human being. But it is our altitude that brings sparkle and luminescence to otherwise emphatic black. It is this altitude that brings us closer to touching the skies.
And tonight I watch the sky on fire in the coldest place in the Lower 48 as we drive through Alamosa and the San Luis Valley.
Now in a hotel. With TV, pizza and wings and the dog on the bed between us.
on one hand
without the call
of the coyote
on the other
TV and traffic and the buzz
of central heating
oh yes, the adventure begins
Do I call this Day One of this adventure when I feel our life is always an adventure and even this one, I’ve been working on for months? How about Day One of this chapter?