May 13, 1979
What a beautiful day! Taking a break from morning sickness misery, I drove with Vic up to the 4-H camp, trading dry desert for cool mountain pines.
On a backwoods cutoff to the camp, Vic took us through scenery so beautiful that it made the worn and rutted road almost unnoticeable. Spring rains had carpeted the hills with waving velvet grass. Tall pine trees were bursting with boughs, heavy with bright green needles glistening under the high sun. Spring snow runoff had turned the normally chalky brown dust to a rich spongy brown, the dark mud accented by sparkling patches of white snow, the last of a late spring cold spell.
Every turn in the road revealed a springlet of water running down a trail of mud and rocks, eventually to culminate in a mini-lake in some mountain or hillside valley. Where the ground was more level, the waters settled in patches of tall grass looking like a series of misplaced swamps.
The slightest breeze kept a steady balance with the gentle rays of sun. I waited for a chill in my spine to prompt putting on my gold fuzzy jacket, but the weather must have sensed how soothing the surroundings were, and out of sympathy for a body needing soothing, decided to deliver perfection.
A romantic notion sprang to life. In all my searches for meaningful work, even the most lackluster of jobs (waitressing, cashiering, ditch digging, filing, cleaning) gained immeasurable desirability if the job could put me in touch with serenity and solitude…the cool breeze, the chirping and scurrying of untamed animals, the wide expanse of the outdoors.
Never before had I foreseen a day when I could willingly trade in the big city supermercados, convenience Ks, swift roads, crowded neighborhoods, matched houses and yards, and intense shopping…all that…for the loneliness of small towns and secluded homes.
The drive through the forest was soon over. The lure of the cities is ever-present. But it no longer can hold its own against the lure of wordless conversation held in high mountain solitude, nurturing in my spirit a hidden nature…suggesting I was…and am…more a part of the raw ground and green canvas than any structural steel beam.
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