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Lonely is a learned and weighty thing to carry. Harder still to hold.

When the sky casts its shadow across the mountains and the sun announces its retirement, it sneaks up like a cat on the prowl - pouncing when you expect it least.

I don’t have time for it.

I have time for the birds in their nest and the crickets chirping. For the rain of a Cottonwood mixed with waves unrolling. For the sun cutting a path through the desert and the dogs playing, dripping wet and washing off the dirt and grime from the campsite before. For the bending grass of the earth and the sound of whispering winds.

I took the backroad today and drive with sun on my cheek, hair tucked up, windows down. My hands are callused now, my nails short and always dirty. I’m coming to terms with that. It seems such a small price to pay.

The horse backs easily from the trailer, he’s ready to get out. We unload and saddle. I hold tight to his mane as he lopes uphill, shaking off the dust and hay. His every movement ebbs through me and for a second we are one.

This has become my life - to lie outside gazing up at the big dipper - far away from city lights. Watching the land fade to darkness.

The cool stream cascading down my back, one foot perched on river rock - balancing as I rinse my hair. Walking barefoot through the mud and stumbling in the dirt - these things are me.

These things are you.

There is no one way. There are many lives to live… pick one.

Just pick one.


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