Gifts from McCall

Did I mention yet that our 2017 fire season is already humming?  Robert reported for duty a few weeks ago and he’s already jumping out of airplanes.  We’ve been going back and forth between the farm and the Airstream in McCall.  From the moon, we probably look like bees buzzing back and forth between the hive and the wildflowers.

Last time I drove to our fire town it gave me a couple visual gifts in the forms of incredible squalls, an amazing moonrise and a den of kits.  The journey also gave me my first speeding ticket of my life which was extremely mortifying.  We bought a new car, the Volkswagen Alltrack, to be exact.  It’s as sporty as Serena Williams.  In fact, it’s been difficult for me to get used to the zippy-ness of this new rig after driving lumbering trucks for the past thirteen years of my life.  Every time I think about it I feel so grumpy at myself for marring my perfect driving record.  I’m usually so diligent about setting cruise control and I almost always go a little under the speed limit, too, because I drive like a grandpa and eat nuts and sip kombucha and look for elk and antelope and osprey while I mosey along.  We still have all our trucks but it’s nice to have something dependable and easy to drive when I need to run to the city — our trucks all have 250K miles on them (or more) and I was starting to feel scared about driving them on long haul trips.  This will be the third VW I’ve owned.  The first was a 1971 Bug that was Baja’ed out — I tore around it in while we lived in Arizona.  The second was a 1973 camper bus (Omnibus?) — it was so much fun to travel and camp with.  I guess we’ve been Volkswagen fans for years!  I didn’t realize it until now!

Anyway, look at those foxes, would ya?  I felt lucky to find them and watch them.  They weren’t especially shy so I had a good long look at them.  What beauties.

Night Lights

7I9A0528 7I9A0534 7I9A0631It’s such an insane juxtaposition…but sometimes there is still beauty in the most terrible things.

7I9A0560 7I9A0567 7I9A0577 7I9A0578 7I9A0579 7I9A0581 7I9A0615 7I9A0619Sundown over the North Cascades and I wonder where he is.

http://www.thenoisyplume.com/blog/2015/08/19/10435/

My Flame

IMG_3673I suppose this is how I see him.  Exactly.  Rugged, capable beauty in a wild shower of flame and sparks.  Or perhaps this is my perspective of us; the earnest but volatile nature of who we are independently and corporately.  We are a pair of glorious, clashing and blending flames.

We just spent a full week together, which is something that NEVER happens during the fire season.  I came home from Alaska and we galloped to Pocatello to close on our house, pack up our life and stuff it in a storage unit.  We sold or gave away over half of what we owned and once the money was in the bank from the sale of our home, we drove and fished our way across Idaho until we parted ways in Spokane.  He headed back to Winthrop and work while I buzzed over to Montana to stage for a backcountry trip.  When we crossed over the Idaho-Washington state line we looked over at each other and said, “We have to get back.  We have to get back to Idaho.

I miss him.  I miss dreaming aloud with him.  I miss the tangible flame that has burned between us for over 11 years now.  Godspeed, babe (and soft landings), until our soul bones rest side by side once more.

Season of Light

IMG_4754[Parliament Of Wolves]

It has arrived, the light I mean; daylight savings is a glorious time.  It means I can head out at six o’clock with the dogs to run or walk on the mountain while that amazing 24k light is pouring itself out heavily on the earth, molten and redemptive.  If it wasn’t so beautiful, I would feel affronted, or if I was wicked in my soul I would feel found out by it.  It’s that kind of light.  I know the light aims to bless, so I receive it as such; take up the wild rush of it as though I am drinking it, savage with thirst– I drink it up like a wild woman.

We are already hurtling towards the summer solstice.  Night is in decay while day grows robust and long.  I never get tired of these big shifts!  They’re tremendously energizing.  Just when I think I have nothing left to give our planet begins to tilt in a new direction and I feel it with every bone in my body, even the tiny bones, the anvils and stirrups in my ears seem to ring with the heaven of it all.

I sat with the dogs in the sagebrush tonight, simply sat, alone and happy as the sun did its setting and night began to take back the sky.  The dogs were digging for voles, running wild and kicking the dust off their heels.  I can’t remember thinking about anything important, I was more concerned with simply laying with the land and taking it in with my senses.

I spent most of my day at the computer, tippity tapping with my blunt little fingertips, editing images, submitting this and that.  It was a productive day, though I have nothing truly tangible to show for my time and effort.

I suppose that’s why I just sat there in the sun and sage tonight.  More often than not, I feel ruined by technology — dumbed and dulled by it.  Sitting out in the dirt and wind helps me to take myself back and allows for an indwelling of the senses which is where true aliveness resides for me.

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Life is beginning to get crazy here.  The fire season always makes everything crazy.  Right about now is when I buckle up and hold on tight.  There’s nothing that can be done about the insanity of pre-season.  It must be so easy for people, for couples, who live near the base they work out of, but for us, it’s complete chaos from now until we arrive in the Methow Valley.

I am finding that this season will take more intention and attention from us which is difficult when plans have to be made last minute (that’s just how fire is, terribly last minute).  How do you prepare to sell a house and move your life and a small business to a different state in an Airstream trailer when everything is so darn last minute?  I don’t know how we do it.  All our important dates are laid out like glass shards in dirt, janky and hazardous, prone to shifting in the breeze.  We’re trying to get a grip, but we don’t know on what.  We’re all cut up by attempting to set it in order.

If I could change anything about this fire life of ours, I would make things less last minute.  It’s my only true complaint. I never feel like I get to say goodbye.  Hellos catch me off guard.  My very self teeters wildly for months on end.  I’m tippy with the undependable nature of wildfire and everything that comes with it.

Despite all the impending chaos, I am going to have a completely ridiculous day in the studio tomorrow after a little time off and a few days of concentrated computing.  I can feel it in my bones.  Something good is coming.  The very thought of it makes me stand up straighter, with my palms lifted to the sky, ready to receive and ready to give until I’m all gived out.

Buckle up, buttercups.  It is the season of light.

X

:::Post Scriptus:::

Robbie is coming home on Monday.  He’s been away six weeks.  I am happy.  I am happy!

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