Back in Bigness

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driving back home

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aspen early spring

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I wanted to be home before the full moon.  I was thinking about riding horseback in moonlight.  I forgot how cold it is here. After dark, I’m happy to be home by the woodstove.  Afternoon siestas in the sand by the river seem very far away right now.  About 5,600 miles away.

Travelling takes over a week. The “goodbyes” take longer.  The “welcome homes” aren’t enough.  Culture shock.  I am learning this.  It’s not as hard leaving when you know you’ll be back.

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rosa and ranquilco

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last light on the rio trocoman

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Between here and there. It starts horseback. Leaving “our” home along the Rio Trocoman.  Between here and there is a long and fast car ride across Argentina, followed by a day of walking the dog through the crowds of downtown Buenos Aires.  There is a beer at an outdoor café. There is mate and malbec in the courtyard.  There is the refresher course in Texas hospitality, and something more about good friends.  There is Wal-Mart.   Biggie size it.  Bigger is better.  Consumerism and convenience.  Channel surfing from the king size bed of the hotel room.   Bombarded with commercials, violence, terrorism, and how to build an assault rifle in your back yard.  Just what I need.  Welcome home.

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pedro and jorge

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jorge ginny and me

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One of these days I’ll share the details.  Recommendations and tips. Where to stay in Buenos Aires, the best way to get across Argentina, and what it’s like to travel with a dog. Boring but necessary.  Cold hard facts. Another time.

For now I want soft and warm.  Home.  I want to stop worrying about paying three times as much for a bottle of bad wine, and wishing there was goat meat hanging in the shade and remembering simple smiles instead of complicated family bullshit.  For now, I want to be in the sun.  This sun.  The here and now sun. The intense sun roasting my cheeks and forehead, the only skin exposed in the still cold wind on the deck of our home at 10,000 feet in the mountains of Southern Colorado. I guess this is the same sun that’s already dried up the run off creeks and parched the pasture and it’s only April.  But it’s my sun.  The same sun, like the same moon.  Seen from a different perspective.

I thought maybe it’s just me.  It’s not.  It’s him too.  Bob spends his evenings on Google Earth, seeing where we have been. Where we will be. He shows me, a digitized image on the computer screen.  It almost hurts to see it now.

Being home.  There is my river.  My horses.  My bed and my bathtub.  There are the familiar sounds of robins, Steller’s Jays and crows out on the field.  The metallic zipping sound announcing the early arrival of a hummingbird. There is the smell of cedar burning and bacon frying and the familiar scent of my favorite mare. There are my trails, trails we found and forged, for us to ride and clear in the softer orange light of early evening when the spring wind slows and the porch door is left open and firewood is brought in and stacked in preparation for the cold night.

Un American?  I had a good excuse.  No electricity.  No internet. No motors.  No town.  Now I’ve got it all.  Too comfortable. I haven’t been on Facebook in how many months.  I have little to say, to share.  I’m sorry.  I am self absorbed.  I know it’s selfish.  I take a quick peak this morning and quickly sign off.  It’s scary.  On my wall is a picture of a mate gourd.  Thank you, Amy.  I should have known how much you would understand.  There is nothing else I need to see.  Nothing I care to share.  I feel somehow lost.  Lost in my own home.  Funny it should be so aptly named.  Lost Trail Ranch.

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mate on the rocks

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thank you jorge for the gift of your mate gourd

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Writing, reflection, soaking.  That’s what I’m doing now.  As I remind Ginny, legend has it that Hemingway had to move to Paris before he could write about Michigan.  Presumptuous to compare myself to him.  If not my self, then my situation.  I need the distance.  I need to be away to see.  I need to look inside now, not just in front of me.  I cannot keep up with the stories that want to be written.  Words flow like blood from a slaughtered goat.

Healing.  Heal myself.  Simple wounds.  We are all built of flesh and blood.  From time to time, we all must bleed.  The earth heals me.  Here, there.  Here, I go for a walk.  To the other side of the bridge we built together. I cannot cross.  Snow on the other side.  The dog falls in to his belly.  Moose droppings and tracks and what looks like a big round spot where he may have lay in the last of the snow, holding fast on the north facing slope along the Rio Grande.

And wasn’t the sun to my north just a few days ago?

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happy to be home

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dogs

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I remind myself there is no place I would rather be.  Here and now.  Yesterday and tomorrow are different stories.  Stories to write about.

Now the dog gets up from his warm place in the middle of the bridge, on guard above me as I sit in the dirt of the little island with my notebook on my lap.  He barks in a non-committal way.  He wants my attention.  We make eye contact.  He looks up the hill.  I know what he is thinking.  It’s time to get up there.  Get back to the horses.  Back to work.  His work.  Guard duty.  He has been wonderful.  Putting up with me dragging him to the other side of the world. Now he’s home.  His home.  His herd.  He is happy.  I should be too.

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cody karen willie

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ginny

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