Day 66: The Last Season

“I am suddenly close to something very great and very large, something containing me and all this around me, something I only dimly perceive, and understand not at all. Perhaps if I am here, aware, and perceptive, long enough I will.” — Randy Morgenson, McClure Meadow, 1973, The Last Season by Eric Blehm 

 As I drank my crystalline coffee this morning, sitting alone and silent on a rock in partial shade, I saw two merry marmot babies run across the land, unattended. One pushed the other, and they turned toward each other, kissing for a brief moment before shoving each other again.

As if book ending my day, one of the little terrors is out again, munching away at the sweet young grass that makes up these high meadows. I have no doubt that soon he will be as fat as his mama, loping along the low wildness of this high in the sky mountain air. He watches me as he munches, bright black eyes wary, but not too afraid. He knows I am slow. He has seen me lurching around loudly all day long as he nimbly jumps from rock to rock.

But what of my day? I have spent it with Rainbow Dash, lazily moving from lake to campsite as our hunger or need for a soak dictates. We have spent the entirety of our day reading a book aloud — The Last Season — where a ranger in this very area was lost and found only years later. 

 And now that the day draws to a close, following the pages of our book, I am realizing that I am sad about moving along tomorrow. In three short days this place has become my home, a space for me to live, despite my duty to move ever onward to Canada (and beyond).

Sometimes, with days like this, I realize what a fool’s errand it is to march always forward. I see how much I lose by constantly passing through, when any one place could me my home forever.

But I am sure, when the trail finally calls my name, that this motion is as much a part of my home as any one place could ever be. 

 I can only hope that if I keep my eyes open I can, like Randy, come closer to understanding this huge, near thing that binds us all together. Perhaps understanding will come, but just as likely I’ll keep chasing it forever up the trail.