I am getting attached. I was afraid this would happen. Some of you may be rolling your eyes and saying the same. You thought this would happen to me too.
Attachment. To this land. This place. This climate and culture. To the sound of wind and water coming in waves through the open front door where Gunnar rests with dusty eyes and tired paws, sore from the eight hour ride yesterday. Riding “home” from the nearest town. Riding through beating wind with heads hunkered down and hands frozen to rough rawhide reins and lifting our brows from time to time to squint at the hard harsh landscape I thought would be so easy to ride through. Unable to hear the clang of each step of the horses steel shoes cruel and heavy on the miles of rocks that this land grows far more that trees. Returning with saddle bags packed with eggs, wine, sugar and a leg of goat. Returning with a head full of stories following our visit with Ginny, for whom we rode one day in, one day out.
Attached to Ginny and our scattered seeds and blossoms of conversations peppered with laughter and spiced with tears. Attached to Alcides, our neighbor and new friend, the gaucho who lives in the dark mud shack beside our seemingly decadent seasonal dwelling, even through the uncertain state of winter where stories have made it up to seem almost as desolate and unforgiving a place to be as… winter in our home in Colorado. A friendship based more on hand gestures and smiles and understanding eye contact since words between us are few beyond, “Buen Dias!” and “Matέ?”
Attached to horses, true partners and workers who know the trails and the way through rock slopes and over barren passes better than I will during this one season here, no doubt. I used to think I knew what it meant to need your horses, rely on them for work. But it is far more so here. The only means of transportation, here to there, or there to what seems like the middle of no where and then beyond. Our outfitting business and wilderness ditch work seem so trivial when compared side by side. Here it is so much more. It is the real deal. The horses know the difference.
Attached to working dogs resting like the rest of us in the heat of mid day. They spread like rugs tossed from a dusty house to dry under the cool of the shade tree.
Attached to cheap box Malbec wine. Eating what we find, are given, can pack in, can cut up and make from scratch. No more than that, and still it feels so bountiful. Goat meat, goat lard. Meat hanging in the shade in a screen box. Fry bread and French fries. Butternut squash and tomatoes that taste like… tomatoes.
Attached to ponchos, matέ, rolling R’s. Sand between my toes and in bed where we brush it out each night before climbing in and bringing more. Chickens and chicks running seemingly wild. Siestas and late dinners. Cooking on wood only. Heating water with fire. Planning an hour before you want to shower to make sure the water is good and hot.
Attached to the silence of no motors. None. Nada. No planes. No signs or sounds littering the big wide skies except for birds, black and white and wild with a squawk that stirs images primal and prehistoric. And sometimes it looks here little has changed in all that time. A million years or more. Whipping wind and weather, the volcano in the distance, and a brilliant depth of stars and yes, I think maybe there are more here than I saw even back from where I came.
Attached to the harsh, hard life that hides under the rocks and brushes sand from your eyes and looks out as far away as Chile. Life. Alive. Wild in the wind. A passionate place as Bob builds a Valentine for me in the rocks by the river and we make love in the heat of the sun on sand.
Attached to the desk from which I sit here writing, hard and heavy wood, the sound of the river through the French doors, the window panes I stood in the sun and wiped clean of cobwebs, sap and sweat after how many years this morning, and the hollyhocks and roses dance in the wind while the willow bows gracefully wave like fine and feminne fingers overhead, surrounded by the stories and histories of the beautiful woman for whom I am writing. For her, for myself, maybe even for you.