Dragon 14 November 2018

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We flew over meadow and pond, past farm and field and high up over the base of the forests on the mountain foothills. Felago could hear my thoughts, which actually wasn’t supposed to happen. I mean, dragons only bonded with a visual imprint at birth. I wasn’t there at his birth, but he knew me and told me that my voice in his head was one he’d known since before he came into the world. How was that possible?

His voice in my head was like a low and steady hum, sort of a thunder-like rumble all pleasant and deep. As we neared the high tundra, he spoke, “The lake?”

“You know me well. Of course the lake, and let’s find a sunny spot so I can warm up a bit while we eat.”

Gliding down, he landed us on the lake’s edge and let me down. We both knew that the way we were able to talk to each other was outside of normal, and that spelled trouble if anyone ever found out. It’s why I knew that I’d eventually bring Felago home for good, but for now, I’d keep up the appearance of nonchalance. I felt that this was the way to make sure no one thought too much about us.

In case you missed it:  Dragon Part One

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Moab 12 November 2018

Our adventure began on the drive to Moab, when we stopped to hike to Hanging Lake and we were not disappointed.

The red cliffs around Moab, so beautiful, put me in mind of The Grand Canyon, Red Rocks, and the Badlands. Layers and layers of different colors all woven into the rock tapestry and you simply cannot stop looking. We hiked to arches far and near and were awed by each one in turn. We looked down into the Colorado River something like 2,000 feet below the rim of Dead Horse Point and watched the shadows stretch across the high desert as the sun set.

I was fascinated by the petroglyphs, some that were thousands of years old and some that were done by the Ute Tribe in the 1600s. I’ve never seen anything like it. We sat just below a rock wall covered in animals and people, after a good hike in the chill breeze with the warm sun shining down, and marveled. There is no way to see everything in one trip, but we did our best to see as much as we possibly could in three short days.

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Empty Devotion 7 November 2018

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Another story snippet:

They were devoted. But to what exactly, no one could say. Living separate lives, but professing to be committed, or soul mates, or the warmth of the sun in each other’s worlds is all good. It’s fine. It’s more than most people have. It’s lame. There are no teeth in it, no chutzpah, no nothing but empty promises, wait, no promises either.

Hiding in plain sight was their forte. “Hey, you two want to join us? We’re all heading out to eat after the service at Bess’s Café.”

Though they’d been standing together and clearly had arrived together, there was a sudden subtle shift apart. Just a slight turn of a shoulder, his, and a hip, hers. Dan spoke first, “Uh, no, I, um, I’m not going to the service, and I have to get home. I told Ben I’d help him with his sink.”

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“I’m in for sure,” Shelly chimed in. Linking her arm through Jesse’s, the two women walked down the block toward their church without turning back.

“Really, Dan?” Ginny stared at him, “You two are pathetic.” Not waiting for an answer, which wouldn’t come anyway, she followed the rest of the crowd toward the open doors under the bell tower.

Confused, Dan watched them go, wishing he could just make this happen. Then, he shoved the thought back inside and out of sight and walked home alone.

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A Mystery 5 November 2018

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The little blue vase simply appeared one day. I remember that the night before I hadn’t slept much. The wind was howling, windows rattling, and cold air swept across my nose which was sticking out from under the down coverlet. Moving from one side to the other every thirty minutes, the grit grinding into my half-closed eyes made me want to leave the warmth for the relief of eye drops.

I gave up before dawn, dragged my shivering self across the cold tile, finding blessed reprieve in the cool drops. I knew sleep would not come. Dressed in my underlayer of long-handles, I stood waiting for the coffee to finish perking, mug in hand. Deep blue and gracefully tapered at top and bottom, this delicate glass vase stood there on the other side of the counter separated from the coffee pot side by the stove.

Leaving the mug by the coffee, I side-stepped past the stove and picked it up. Smooth and cool, it gave me a feeling that I’d seen it before somewhere and it’d been important to me. “Where did you come from?” I think I expected it to answer me. I should have been checking the doors and windows, searching for an intruder, but, who would break into a home and leave something?

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A Peaceful Silence 1 November 2018

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We rode on, up the trail winding in and out of aspen groves and deep green pines. Our mounts both had a spring in their step, as if they too needed a venture out of their normal environment. Ears perked up whenever one of us slipped a cinnamon candy out of a cellophane wrapper that crinkled as we stuffed it into a pocket. I thought about what she’d ask when we stopped by the little lake to eat our PBJs, Cheezits, and candy bars.

But I wasn’t in a place for that conversation yet. I wanted to simply take in the bright blue skies, a few drifting puffy clouds, that smell of fall that is all brown leaves and chill and earth. I wanted that feeling I always get when I ride, those powerful muscles moving over the deep soul of the planet, giving me depth and strength and the space just to be.

She would see that in my stance, on my face, in the quiet that followed behind her on this mountain path. We turned on the last switchback and time stopped. The horses stilled and standing there, our knees inches apart, we drank in the circle of snow-capped peaks before us. I forgot how to breathe.

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Peaceful Silence 30 October 2018

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Riding along the narrow trail, the crispy leaves crunched underfoot though many yellow, red, and orange leaves still hung on the branches above our heads. The moon shone bright in the early dawn sky, subduing the sparkling of the millions of stars. We rode along in silence; the peaceful silence close friends have.

The warmth of our mounts, their steamy breath mingling with the scents of fall and our own shivering exhalations. Bound for nowhere in particular, we simply wanted time together with our horses to take a time out from our busy lives. We did what we do best, meeting up at the barn after a hot cup of coffee, grooming and saddling, mounting and

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walking side-by-side until the trail narrowed.

The sounds of the forest slowly waking in the flit of squirrel and the tap of a woodpecker as hooves sounded hollow and deep on the packed dirt beneath brought joy to spirits who had suffered lately. On we went, into the dawn and the day with no expectations but companionship.

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Settle 24 October 2018

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Fall is like a time of respite. While the pine trees remain green and verdant, they’ve lost that blue tinge of growth they have in spring and summer. The chokecherry bushes dropped their leaves and their life has retreated into the roots that will sustain them all winter. The apple tree outside my work window is stubbornly hanging on to its yellow-brown leaves, maybe holding out until I bring the Christmas lights forth.

Most every living thing is getting ready to put its feet up and relax after a long period of marathon-like endeavors to grow and produce. Ground squirrels have sequestered under the earth, summer birds have flown to warmer climes, winter birds have not arrived yet, and rabbits are hunkering down for long naps in the afternoon sun. Soon they will cuddle up under the deck, in the thick grasses at the bottoms of the long rows of round bales, or in the nooks and crannies of the sorting alley and corrals.

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Everything is simply settling down, waiting for a white blanket of snow to provide some protection from the cold winter winds. Don’t we all need rest? From our race to keep up or get ahead? From the decisions we’ve made and regret? From the loneliness of being unwilling to open to another? From the constant battle going on around us? From the buzzing in our brains that we cannot tone down? Settling in sounds good, sounds quiet, sounds like a burden lifted, like the soft breath of a prayer too long unuttered.

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