Wednesday, November 4, 2009

moon, stars

Full moon, stars, the faint outline of snow on the mountains. It gets dark here at four thirty, the night falling without subtlety, just one minute dusk, the next dark. No pretense, just like this place. What you see is what you get, sort of. There is an undercurrent though, that you only discover when you have been here awhile. People tell you secrets: Imnaha in winter, to escape the snow. Go into the canyon--it is always just called the canyon--in spring to see flowers. And you find out things too: sweet blackberries in Somers Creek, larch turning golden in fall. I love how slowly the secrets are revealed here. It is a hidden beauty that seeps into the soul.

I love the full moon. It has been so many years since I have seen it. In Alaska it was shy, staying under cover of clouds. Here it is more brazen. It flirts with the mountains. It hangs around the night, rolling around through the immense sky.

I've moved around all my life, pushed by a restless wind. I've seen the moon from a handful of places, from tents deep in the wilderness, from rivers, from the mouths of caves. In kayaks we charted how high the tides would be by its phase.

I walk home with a big moon over my shoulder.

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