Day 37: The Witching Hour

Today began with quite a late start — 9am, which is normally hiker noon. But it was beautiful because Rainbow Dash was feeling herself again, and we rejoiced in the light and the meadow that was our grassy home for the night.
The late start meant a late end to the day as well, and the light painted us a glorious watercolor that I hope to lodge in my memory until my last breath. 

 We were walking along a contour in green, scrubby hills that lent themselves to big vistas to gaze at longingly. I wanted to live in the moment forever. The hills folded up against themselves, so one minute we were walking in that soft light, long shadows stretching plants and our bodies skinny against the ground, and the next we were in grey shadow, colors merging one into the next.

Looking out, listening without talking to the crunch of Ant and Dash spread out before me, the hills were green and began to blur, first hazely black, and then lighter and lighter into the distance, where they disappeared right on the line where dreams become reality. 

 This hour is filled with magic, the kind that makes the colors of the little purple flowers that bring love to the world brighter and the blue green leaves of the flat, stubborn plants gentler.

After a break to snack and uncramp Ant’s toes (now that the plantar is calmed, a strange new ailment has come), the light changed. We began walking again and the sun turned the whole landscape from green and growing to golden browns and greys, as if wanted to show us a whole year of seasons in one short hour.

Little tents dotted the hillscape, showing us that we were not alone.

A few hours before, when I halted to relieve myself, the others galloped along ahead of me, and I was lost in a sea of brush without them in my sights. I came to the trail, after startling a snake, and found myself very much alone.

Humanness came upon me — that feeling of being very small and very squishy in a place that could have whenever it pleased. I dashed along the sandy pathway, slightly comforted by the churned up outline of the path — where legions of trekking poles had made their mark.

Out here I might feel alone, but friends are always just around the next bend. And if not, the sun always is ready to show me the beauty of the world right where I stand.