Mystic Writer

Peeking out to see if there is a real world out there...

Monday, February 28, 2005

Sure foot raptor run



I fled from work on Saturday towards a quiet park in the hopes of getting a hike in the sun and wild. The wind was harsh and cold, whipping the naked branches and flattening the stalks of bluestem grass. At first I enjoyed the isolation of the wild weather but slowly the pain in my hips and knees from endless slips and catches on the ice and snow covered trails pulled me from the moment, and I realized I was ready for winter to end. I momentarily regained my joy when I spotted a pair of snow geese bedded in deep snow in the middle of an isolated lake, but the mood evaporated and I plotted an escape as I struggled to my car.
Snow Geese
I had a couple days of vacation scheduled, and on Sunday I headed south towards Iowa. The drive was not promising, and as I followed the Mississippi I drove into a massive snowstorm. I fought depression as I fought the slippery road, and at a nondescript intersection in east central Iowa I turned west. I drove a short while and was treated to the sight of a bald eagle flying hard to the north but not moving at all in the brisk headwind. I slowed the car and reached for my camera and he peeled to the side and disappeared. A spark of elation ignited and I drove on. I saw three more eagles fighting northward, all moving in surreal slow motion and I knew I was in the grip of fate again.

A sign pointed the way to Bixby State Park, and I turned north to be stopped by a road closed sign. I changed into fleece and nylon, threw on my backpack and camera and followed the snow packed road down between twisted rock walls. The road emerged into a steep sided valley cut by a medium sized stream. The walls of the valley were topped by fog enshrouded rock ramparts, and with my heart singing I headed down the valley, climbing to the top of the cliffs, then coming back down, exploring curiousities and looking for wonderful views.
Bixby
After a long hike I worked my way back up to my car through still twilight and slowly falling snow and my heart filled with joy. I drove to the nearest town and checked into a motel, and as I was lying in bed reviewing my day I realized I had been in this exact motel exactly one year ago to the day. Memory flooded back - everything about me was twisted then. I had no hope - My only goal was to survive long enough to see my son well along on his life and then I hoped I could just fade away. I had enjoyed my drive down last year, but looking back I can see how pale my joy was then compared to now.

On the surface, nothing has changed. I am still in a hopeless marriage, I have the same job and live in the same house. My little boy has gotten bigger but my love for him is boundless and I expect that that will never change.

TB is the difference. Something about her, something I feel when I'm with her that I continue to have when I'm not, completes my soul. I don't know what she thinks of me other than I know she is my friend.

I'm not fool enough to believe that the intensity of my desire will somehow make her feel the same towards me and so I have little hope of ever being in a more intimate relationship with her. And yet, for all of that, I still frequently feel an intensity of joy that I have never known before, and it always has the color of TB.

It is my fondest hope that somehow she can experience the same sort of joy she has given me.

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