White clouds glide across the clear blue sky, casting shadows down upon the mountains. The fast moving
shadows are like ghosts flying across the spring landscape. Wildflowers cover the hillsides, turning the high lands into a virtual paradise filled with vibrant color and sweet scent. The hunter in me is dormant today, although I carry a knife in a beaded sheath at the back of my belt, and remain watchful of the wandering predators who inhabit these lands. I am otherwise unarmed and stripped to the waist, the spring sun has already burned and tanned my torso from days spent working under the sun at my job peeling logs down in the valley. This day however I am not working, although my leg muscles burn and I am breathing hard by the time I reach the top of the ridge.
The view is spectacular from up here, off in the distance the knocking of a woodpecker echoes through the forest. Birdsongs fill the day and insects fly freely through the warm air. A true sense of freedom and wildness fills me at times like these. Several times each year I enjoy the freedom of a day or two spent doing nothing more than wandering the wild places alone. Don’t misunderstand me, I thoroughly enjoy moments shared with my family and friends out in the wilds, but my awareness and connection to nature when alone is more pronounced than in the company of others. Somehow I FEEL the wilderness more when not distracted by the conversations and noises of others. A bumblebee works the pollen from an Indian paintbrush and takes flight into the mountain air, the song of a chickadee brings music to the already magical day. I am alone on this mountain but certainly not lonely, every part of my being is alive and glad to be part of the circle of life. The rest of the day will find many miles of wilderness explored and enjoyed, the high mountain breeze will wash away my worries and the clean air will fill my lungs. The days travels will leave me tired and ready to return home to my family, yet longing for the next time I may return to the sanctity of the wild places again. For now I will simply sit here and enjoy the spectacle of life laid out before me on this ridge.
The call of a raven draws my eye skyward as he performs an aerial ballet for his mate, flying along and turning upside down, then righting himself and calling to her, his antics seem to go unnoticed by the female yet he keeps trying. I find myself smiling, then outright laughter bursts forth from somewhere inside me, when the moment is over I stand and resume my hike across the landscape feeling glad I have come here.
THE alarm goes off , bringing me back to reality, the cold Wyoming wind is blowing down from the north bringing in another snowstorm, Stacey has a cup of hot tea already for me in the kitchen. Another long day of work awaits us in the freezing temperatures, but I can still smell the lupine from my dream, and feel the warm sun on my skin. Spring will come soon enough, I can wait patiently, as long as the seasons continue to change and the prospect of warmer days fill my dreams. Hawk