Archive for the ‘Idaho’ Tag
We just got back from our Labor Day weekend adventure: a trip to my uncle’s ranch near Salmon, Idaho, close to the Idaho/Montana border. We’re still shaking the dirt off of everything. I had to scrub inside my boys’ ears and between their toes to wash it all out. Sawyer summed up our trip like this: “I wish everyday was Labor Day.”
As I thought about our trip on the drive home, I remembered a similar Labor Day vacation we took to the ranch two years ago, and that I wrote something down about it. I went looking through my journals, and here it is:
August 30, 2008
We’re up at Carl’s ranch, Nicholia, for Labor Day Weekend, bunked up in the living space above the barn. Out the kitchen window you can see the horses corralled: a gray with black flecks, a white dappled with brown, others the color of tumbling sagebrush. Beyond the paddock sprinklers shoot over fields of ripe wheat. And behind the farmland are the mountains, blue-hued and sharp-peaked. The setting makes you want to live: breathe deeply, set out to see the land, connect to the earth in whatever way, whether on the back of a horse or by the pond, pulling up a Rainbow on a taut fishing line and feeling it squirm, cold and wet, between your fingers. And then, to come back to a quiet space and reflect and write, and live it all over again.
The first thing we did when we arrived was to get on the ATV’s and let the dust fly in our tracks. Mom ripped past me, hair whipped around her face by the wind and the speed. “She is beautiful,” I thought, young and smiling on her red Suzuki. She was thirty years old again, or younger even, twelve, thirteen. Living life for the adventure, worries nothing more than the tousling of the wind.
I couldn’t get the image out of my head for the rest of the afternoon: Mom and her smiling face. It wasn’t the smile of affection she gives so readily to her grandchildren, or the smile of love with which she watches over us. It had none of the weight of responsibility and concern that anchor a mother’s love. It wasn’t a smile fixed on anyone or for anyone. It was purely a smile of enjoyment — at life, at adventure, at the land.