The christmas lights are as bright as a match, in a very dark camp.
The Hellgate winds move cold, snow, our antlers sway in it.
Remarkable to have shelter at a moment like this.
Today, while working, I bundled up to explore, photograph, try to understand in a way which research will never reveal. To feel. Layers and layer and layers. Sun but still wicked cold - safe only by hiding bare skin from the wind. I wandered.
After footsteps, heartbeats, in wonder I made my way back to the entry point. Knee high snow, and a few yards away from the haven of my car. On the other side of the panels.... a man... smoking.
He asked me for a dollar, for the bus. I wasn't bluffing when I told him I had no money. I scanned the scene. External frame backpack, heeled boots like a fire worker, the back cuff worn from the bottom of his carhartt type pants. He sat on the bench, blocking the panel, and stuttered though not knowing where he was, where the bus was, where downtown was, and getting kicked out of the gas station.
ALL I could think was Sir - you need shelter.
I suggested warm buildings, places I thought someone would, could offer him something. he said Nah, no thanks. I guess I'll just stay right here.
Drunk I thought. Something. I encouraged him to get inside and wished him luck. Then something funny happened - he wished me luck too.
I got in my car and left, happy to have parked with an escape route. But worried about him.
A crossroads, a canyon, steeped in stories.
Last week - I was in the Emergency Room. A few days later I was dog sitting for my best friend. The next afternoon, her mother died. Phone calls. Logistics. My first casserole.
But somewhere in between I slid the glass door open, with three dogs watching, closed it behind me, and walked to the fence between the river and I. Frozen.
Wind. Cold. Quiet. Deep sadness. Deep thankfulness.
Saturated in the moment, I breathed, returned indoors.
It's still out there, all around, as we nestle in our homes. There is just enough light. Just enough warmth. Just enough food. Just enough love to continue propelling us though the night, into the next day.
Each of us needs these reminders - the yin to a yang.
Boreas. I know that wind. It brings a peace, a soothing about knowing, being, and doing what I need. You know where you need to be his voice echoes, you're getting there. You will get there.
As I lay me down to sleep, my heart is in my neighbor's apartment. With a best friend. Sorting and sifting though Life.
My wish is for a weary, lost, traveler to find solace and rest.
My hope is that tomorrow, we all understand, just enough, to bring light to that day and continue us all forward in our journeys.
But then again, a little luck sure couldn't hurt.