Today was a typical day. I went over to one of my wood stashes and split, hauled and stacked about a cord of wood today then I started cutting up another really big tree that fell down in the forest near the trail. I have been trying to collect dead and down trees fast enough to keep up with our wood consumption so that our stock pile does not deplete until the dead of winter. Myra did her domestic chores and visited with Shan today. I cut wood until it got too dark in the woods to be safe. I looked at the sky and it was glowing red so I headed for the river to see what was left of sunset. This was about 4:30pm this afternoon.
When I arrived at the rivers edge I had one of those experiences that I want to try my best to share. Please close your eyes and read along, try to feel and picture this through my words. Oh wait, open your eyes back up or you can't read along.
The Air; it was 9 degrees out side and very low humidity. There is a gentle breeze blowing along the river bank and it is gently polishing my face with the crispness. It does not feel all that cold mostly crisp, I believe this is due to the low humidity. Breath in deep through your nose and get a sense of the cleanest air with a crisp edge. There is no smell that can be separated or sensed, just clean and crisp.
The Snow; crunchy under foot. When on a path the snow is very solid. Step into the fluff over by the edge of the high bank and sink to the middle of your shins in a delicate powder of crystal snow. You walk through this snow easier than walking through water, it just moves away from your feet as you stride foreword.
The Sound; Gentle breeze, only the slightest rustle in the trees. The water is flowing over rocks in the river, there is a bubbling noise from this. There is Ice and Slush floating in the swift current. The ice, as it hits the edges of the rim ice makes an almost Hollow sounding grinding noise. As the slush rubs together in the water or along the bank it makes a hissing noise. This gentle hiss never stops along with the gentle breeze and the bubbling water. The sounds are gentle and orchestrated, it could lull you to sleep with a perfect picture in your mind.
The Scenery; Standing twenty feet above the rivers edge, water and ice flowing. Surrounded by a Forrest behind, beside and across the river. Look to the right, up river, and there is Yenlo Hills and Yenlo Mountain, capped with snow, but interestingly enough the lower sides of the mountain seem to be void of snow. The sky above this mountain has thin clouds of slightly gray and blue. Look left and there is Forrest covered with mostly blue sky with wisp of clouds painted orange by the sunset. Begin to look from there toward straight ahead and the sky changes. The clouds go from orange to almost yellow to blue, then lavender. The sky clears shortly before the Tordillo Mountain range comes into view. The tops of the mountains appear to be on Fire with the sun. Brilliant, fire orange clouds (blowing snow) lifts from the edges of the mountains. They are lined all along with the fire glow. Peaks to eleven thousand feet down to the valleys as low as I can see above the forest. The contrast between the forest that is just across the river and the mountains that are from thirty to fifty and sixty miles away is spectacular. From deep evergreens to fire orange rimmed mountains going up and down.
All I could do was stand still and breath. Feeling alive beyond any sensation that I could compare this to. The colors change as the sun goes down, I can't move. Minutes went by, Colors went by, Ice flowed, the breeze blew and I just stood there, amazed.
Eventually it got dark and the show subsided. When I finally did walk away I realized I had stood still so long my legs and feet hurt. I had to loosen muscles that had strained for the days work. I climbed onto the snowmachine and rode home, put things away and the day is coming to a conclusion.
I am a lucky man today!
Thank You for being here,