Sunday, August 23, 2015

Like a Holler

I wanted to go somewhere to see stars. I mean really see them. I wanted to go somewhere, where I wouldn't see another person, where I wouldn't hear another complaint, or a crying child, or somebody's cell phone conversation, or another siren racing up the street. I wanted to go somewhere, where if I listened long enough, I could hear a Herons's wings directly above my head.

Some people read books to escape. I go to the mountains of northern Colorado, to an old aluminum trailer in it's very own Aspen grove. It's a grand old thing. A rather dull and weathered shine on the outside, but rich varnished wood walls hug the inside, a Pendleton blanket for the bed and and the warmth of silence throughout. I've never turned Pandora Radio on inside the Silver Moonbeam, but, if I did, most likely it would be the fiddle and banjo music of The Carolina Chocolate Drops. Old timey jug blowing, foot stomping revival songs. I mean, it feels like I'm in an Appalachian holler when I'm there. Tucked down below the rocks, barefoot on the tiny porch, looking out at trees. And more trees, by golly.

It's been one heck of a summer, hasn't it? Every day has been a real gift, tied up with sage and a rabbitbrush bow. Warm, wildflower days, showing off colors that I will never know the names of. I got to have my husband with me everyday, since he has his summers off from teaching. Together, we got to explore new dirt roads that lead to, well, nowhere really. In a meadow faraway, I met a thick necked dappled mustang who makes my heart race and found a friend in one enormous gray stallion I call Muzzle. Who could ask for more?

Now that Autumn is on the heels of summer, I thought I better get my fill of solitude in Red Feather before it.... before. . . it . . . . . snows. Being alone is a thing I cherish, it's something I crave. I've always been somewhat of a loner. I'm not unfriendly by any means, it's just that I'm more comfortable being an outsider. This place, with all it's wildlife and silence and beauty is my haven and that hut is my hideout. I've often wondered what it would be like to never come down off this mountain. I quickly changed my thoughts on that because it would mean I might not have the chance again to see Dwight Yoakam in concert with NaNa'. My favorite local nature-girl, lover of wolves, bees, and all things wild. She and I share our mutual love of Joni Mitchell and she knows everything about the music scene. I'd call her a music aficionado. Yes, I would. We're still talking about that night with Dwight. We had practically front row seats but we never sat down. We both knew the words to every song. We sang along loudly, clapped for more and our smiles shined just like the rhinestones on Dwight Yoakam's jacket. I find myself singing his songs these days and I'm getting really good at that yodel-singing, that sound you can make in your throat, like he's so famous for. In fact, I think I just might turn on Pandora Radio, here in the Silver Moonbeam, and play me some Dwight Yoakam. There's some yodeling going on in the holler!


I'm a thousand miles from nowhere

Time don't matter to me

'Cause I'm a thousand miles from nowhere

And there's no place I wanna be



Tuesday, August 4, 2015

Wyoming Summer


I point the door of my tent to the east. It’s a tribal custom. Your days improve when you begin them by walking toward the sun. In the morning, I unzip the canvas door. I’m not alone. A prairie dog sits between my camp and the horizon. He is not eating. He’s not digging or building. He rests on his haunches, observing no creeds. No traditions. He does not subscribe to a set of beliefs. He faces east. The two of us. On the prairie. Watching the sun come up. Expressing devotion to the religion of beauty.

~ By Chad Hanson from Wild Quarterly