The road: the Miette histories

The histories roar in you tonight. Listening to Van Morrison’s “Pagan Streams” in the dwindling light, as the mountains inflict their false sunset on the valley. The song ends and silence falls – a thick snow that gathers on your shoulders as you are in the darkness under the pines, remembering the histories of this place.

Because you have come to this enclave alone more than you have come with people. Because you have come with only your love for the high, thin places as companion, and it has always been enough. Listening to the Oilers on a shitty car radio as you drove highway 16 through the night – there is NoJack, Granada, and Obed Summit.

Being stopped by the black wolf who stood her ground in the middle of the Miette road. Arriving late – picking the key to your room off the door at 3 a.m. – taped to the glass in a white envelope – the clouds, low and socked into the valley, and you just being so happy to have arrived – breathing the mountains on faith.

Conversations with John on the deck in front of the restaurant – and him protecting your solitude as you were distracted by story, or grief, or loneliness. Editing two books in room 35 – obsessing and pounding Greek coffee – working through the night and drinking Chardonnay at 8 a.m.

Your daughter in her playpen, sound asleep under a brilliant aspen and you watching over her – watching as she finds her mountain legs, as she learns to “be” in mountains. A brilliant fall wedding with the perfect golden-yellow veins of larches cut through the pines – and your daughter in between the two sons, walking the road to the ceremony.

Harry’s last trip to the mountains and the way the animals came toward him – deer and sheep and birds seemed to be drawn to him – as if there was a profound peace in him only they could feel. Climbing Mt. Shuey and near the top, the shadow of the golden eagle across your face – and at the bottom, the hot springs with its thick, mineral-laden water.

George Santayana said – those who cannot remember the past are condemned to repeat it. Even though you well-remember your history in this place, you’re okay with being condemned to repeat it.

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