The days are not numbered, the hours are. It's early evening, El Dorado Canyon is growing pink. The forest behind me and to the west softly backlit and inviting footfall. Kayakers rumble past the house on the South side, returning from the reservoir. To the North, behind me in the deep woods, amid the boulders and the branches, the birds coo and twirp, winding down from their day. The dogwood tree flowers it's white celebration, and the lilac blooms like the first year - the only other year the Spring was wet enough to enchant these plants into their firework nascency.
Like a love you forcibly grow cold to, I've hardened myself to the magic of this place in the past months - instigating a psychological blindness to its beauties, calling in a numbness to assist in the process of detachment. I remove my shielding for a moment alone now, on this final night, and celebrate once again the soft grasses and the mountain breezes. I celebrate once again the gifts this home has brought me these past six years - poetically, psychologically, financially, and practically.
Thinking now of the first winter when we burned the trim and other remnants of the remodel to keep warm. The memory of tearing off a little piece of the home and feeding it into the fire. I received the same sensation I had the first time I read "The Giving Tree" as a child.
Thinking of nights with the typewriter next to (almost in) the wood stove. And thinking of summers with the french doors open wide to the starry sky. Of evenings this house was full of couples in love - couples coming here to step into the dream and out of the machine. How many have stayed here? Hundreds. Over 300 hundred reservations and how many more as friends and guests and party-comers?
How this house quietly provided for me and for them in it's loving, insentient way. Stoically gaurding a sense of peace inside this space.
Thinking of long days in the garden, of carrying this and that the length of the land - up and down the little paths, swirling round the property like a bee. In this way, out that--a movement like water flowing, like wind winding through the house.
Thinking of the moon - which is rising now, and it's preference to shine in through the french doors at night. Or the sun and it's fiery iron-swirled accent through the jagged canyon--the view from the bed in the loft each morning.
This house calls the elements to it, invites each guest to live with nature rather than above it; to lie with it.
But the old cedar roof and the tall growing grasses ask for hours--so many that I've already given, and so many more to give. Many times I've thought that if I could only divide myself and have two lives: one where I run as a troubadour and the other where I stay right here and care for this homestead by moonlight, by sunlight, by candlelight...until the wick burns down and away.
But the trick of it is: The hours are only lived in one place. Only one.
Tomorrow this house will be sold. I'll shake their hands and sign my name and they'll be putting their sweet boy to bed in the loft. Should I return, I will knock on the door. This special epoch will pass into a life of memories, into a life of dreams.
What else can we do but set free the past with gratitude? What else can we do but let it flow into the future like a leaf floating off into the lake, into the unreachable depths of time?
Here I am:
On the precipice, scattering ashes.
Music: "Cherish Sincerity" by Gabrielle Louise, an advance cut from If the Static Clears, out this Fall. Stay tuned and updated at www.gabriellelouise.com