Rainy Afternoon Musings
I had been tacking this on to my most recent post on I Thought I Was, but I realized it didn't really go, and you all probably needed piddle breaks anyway. I sure did. By the time you notice I've written STILL MORE, you will be in a better position to read it. And so . . .
I didn't listen to anything on the drive over yesterday, although I had a book and hundreds of songs primed on the iPod. Sometimes it's nice to just have the silence and your thoughts. This is a different place for me, Jerome Creek, than it was when I first came as an adult, 10 years ago (after maybe 20 years since I'd been here as a child). I have had some pretty momentous experiences here, both good and bad, both for me and for the dogs, and for the animals I care for here. I no longer come here with the expectation that the most difficult part will be convincing the 3-year-old that I'm riding bareback (Hobo—great horse, long gone :() that he should go forward and stop trying to back us into a steep, wooded ravine.
There can be nothing better, for example, than galloping bareback through a mountain field, when you and your horse are equals thrilling in the rapture of speed. I'm willing to accept that there may be some things as good, but nothing better. On the other hand, having to send your first born dog to the teaching hospital at WSU because he appears to be dying and no one can figure out why, that's awful.
Having your younger dog joyously, spectacularly exhausted from running free in the woods: awesome. Losing same dog in woods the first time he went out: petrifying.
Sharing this amazing place with dear friends: exquisite. Having an emotional crisis that leads to a serious rift (now healed, although I'm still careful about the scar) with some of those friends: heart breaking.
Sawing logs fallen across trails, mending fences, discovering new trails close to home, where K&A have been riding for 30 years: physically satisfying, mentally satisfying, smugly satisfying.
Having a night of serious illness: puking, migraine, orange diarrhea; followed by a couple days of intense anxiety and panic: terrible.
Being trusted to take care of this farm and all of its intricacies, and having the ability and skill to do it well: ALL OF THE ABOVE.
I don't know what I'm going to get when I come here. I love it; I love the drive over (except for the 60 miles east of Othello, but particularly the river valley east of Washtucna); I love the quiet; I love the space. I love hiking through the woods and riding through the woods. I love that my dogs burst out of the car grinning at the end of the journey (I did not love that Hoover started squeeing in anticipation at Colfax, more than an hour away). When I drive back into Seattle at the end of my time here, I can feel the noise and static and frenzy of the city climbing up my spine and into my neck. There's never any kind of silence there. Here I can revel in it. This is one of my homes.
But, being home, it comes along with everything that home has: glory and sadness and peace and exhilaration and fear and joy and dread and mundanity. And it's a little too far out in the woods to just walk down to the corner store for my supper, so there's a bit of inconvenience here, too. Good thing I like to cook.