Night number one. Moon slowly rising over Honeyface Mountain in a soft, salt-lamp orange. Glacial melt waters whisper to stars flickering like tiny kisses as we ignite the first of many fires to come. Heavy smoke swirls around us–the essence of Douglas fir, pine, and juniper permeating our layers of wool and leather, smudging civilization away. Beyond the fire light, the valley is inhabited by many animals: wolves, wild horses, cougars, moose, lynx, deer and foxes, as well as all the grizzlies that have drawn me to this place, year after year. Though they have yet to show themselves, we can feel them out there, animating the night with a tangible sense of their numinous presence. A breeze from the south begins to blow, stirring the lake and causing the yellowing leaves of aspen to tremble. Nuzzling close to me, Stephanie says, “It’s hard to know where the journey begins."
|drawing: Stephanie Kellett|