Tomorrow I will be here:
I am heading east for a month to work in the Forest Service's Washington Office. It's a big deal to leave here, so I took a hike up the West Fork Wallowa to think things over.
|I was fascinated by the pattens the ice makes in the river.|
|Little ice flowers in a stream.|
I crunched up the trail. The sun was washing down the peaks that surround Ice Lake and mini avalanches, spindrift really, floated down the exposed rock. Ice swirled in the river. The temperature hovered at five degrees.
As I walked I thought about our comfort zones and how they can stretch and contract. Sometimes other people show us how to cross those imaginary lines. Other times, propelled by longing and desire, we re-draw them ourselves, like when I taught myself to swim long after childhood, floundering down the pool, learning to breathe.
After a few miles I began to posthole and it was time to turn around. The sun had reached the trail, filtering down through the spruce trees in a muted whisper. The only conclusion I had reached is that if you pull the purse strings of your comfort zone too tight, you are missing the essential deliciousness of life.So I will go out of the valley that holds me like an embrace, but I won’t be gone long, just long enough to prevent myself from hardening like ice. I won't be a person who says never.
At the same time I am who I am, so I will be looking for a little bit of wilderness, even in DC.