Category The land
We are miles from the Village–Janine, Sena, Cheyenne, Ruby, Merilee, Betty, and I–on our first campout of the season. Minimalists, we sleep on bare ground, our bags zippered close for warmth, thick trampled grasses beneath for cushion.
Momentarily lucid, I smell scat–fox. Where? I raise my head, but the tears come all the more. Alone here on the open hills, I wail, and on the in-breath, that scat again.
I taste the snow, each individual crystal bursting as it melts on my tongue. My mitten smells of wet wool and cold.
Bedtime. … The air wafting through the porch screens is cool-warm, with the scent of rain. My fingers smell of bruised mint leaves, picked from the herb garden beside the stoop not twenty minutes ago.
The buildings and grounds are constructed in concentric arcs that fit the natural contours of the hill, which slopes toward the great Jasper Lake.
As we left, Lotty and I strung a garland of wild asters and daisies across the door, to be removed only by the bride and groom on the morrow, when they enter to spend their first night in their new home.
Across the meadow, and round a huge outcrop of granite, we heard the upper falls before we saw them–two high ribbons, one far above the other, glistening water cascading down a sharp escarpment.
I am absolutely certain, though others disputed it, that I saw a mountain lion standing on the bluff overlooking the roadway as it curved down into the big valley beyond the Village of Adriene.
You know how poorly I travel, Noah. I must harness all my strength for the trip.