Passages in the Aftermath
(Sun Series #11)
It all begins innocently enough above the old gold mill in fine gravel, pale beige, with secret towhees and juncos kicking up duff. From here… to keep climbing I must look down taking careful, measured steps. The last monsoonal storm of the season set forth a torrent here to erase the trailmaker’s craft, exposing sharp points of pink and gray, fragments of ores in green and blue, pyritic reflections, and chunks of quartz: white or smoky, with hints of violet.
To keep climbing then is to rise through the junipers and piñons, with their somber trunks, on one side and far views of tan stone columns on the other. The oaks keep changing. The way turns ’round the side of the mountain.
To keep climbing, I enter a grove of Douglas fir and ponderosa, of inky blue-black, crested jays, and the oaks keep changing. One sapling fir stands all roughed up, the target of some randy buck. And one pine bough holds a strange new growth below its needles, bright ochre, almost fluorescent. I stop there to stare and then look past it into the sky, sensing luminous turquoise and amethyst spirits of injured muses, hovering, and higher yet, one dear, lost lover. I hesitate to keep climbing, standing still until a pair of ravens flies overhead with news that it’s time to descend. Many hidden birds make themselves seen on the way back down.