After the somewhat large undertaking of hosting the annual homeowner's meeting on our Mazama cabin, I went out tonight at the exact last moment of dusk to take a slow walk around the forest road to reconnect with the real reason we're here -- the indefinable majesty of this place. What is it, I kept asking myself as I slowly wandered the path, that makes me love it here so much? Because I do, all on my own. This was definitely Brett's place; he had been coming here for over a decade before I ever saw it. I liked it immediately, but it's grown on me steadily in the years since, and I have to say that I love it as passionately and feel as moved by it as I ever have by any place. I need this now, in a way I never expected. No part of me grew up dreaming about the mountainous West and it's dim evening shadows and vast, purple spaces.
The very brink of night, the moment before the light falls away, has always seemed magical to me, that time when you are still able to see silhouettes but only in shades of black and white and gray and maybe if you concentrate the faintest touch of dark, dark green. It rained all day today, and the air smells clean and deep and cedar-like, and wispy low clouds hang in front of the mountain behind the house and across the valley. I used to know a Celtic world for the edges between places, like the edge between shore and sea, between mountain and sky, between dusk and night. Those places held power, to the Celts, and you can feel it when you're lucky and the world is very, very still..
I wouldn't usually be out this time of night here, because it's somewhat risky - bears abound in our little settlement, but so far they haven't been sighted this year and with the snowpack hanging on so stubbornly they might still be up in the hills nursing their young before they come down to see what vintage of berries and birdfeeders can be found in Liberty Woodlands this summer. There's a little added thrill to be out here feeling no need to hurry or be especially wary, to wander and stare up into the forest behind the house, examine the blackness that is uninhabited Lucky Jim Mountain and the few lights that glimmer on Goat Peak across the way. The valley seems to be holding its breath, shaking off the rain and unfurling its boughs. I gulp in deep draughts of this place I have to leave tomorrow, already planning the next time we can get back.