I woke up this morning, and realized (startled) that I had slept all night. It's the first time in months and the number of times in the last 5 years I can count on one hand. Yay.

It's amazing how much it impacts your outlook, energy and all that. After doing some things that had long been waiting for my attention (laundry, cleaning bathrooms, etc) I realized I didn't really have time to paint before I had to head to the gallery. Hmm. what to do? I sat down and started sorting through "reference photos" stored on my hard drive. lots of them. I ran across some that made me smile, and some that made me teary. Some that I moved to the desktop to use for reference in the upcoming work I'm planning to start.

As I scrolled through the years I ran across this:

I heard a noise as I came out of the bedroom one morning to make the coffee. I looked out the back door (glass) and saw him. I thought he had a gorgeous tail, and if the door hadn't been between us, I could have reached out and touched it. That's the concrete of our back porch under his feet. That close. Stunning. Then Chloe (our dog back then) sauntered out of the bedroom and saw him. Need I say more? We decided to build a fence.

It reminded me of the first days we lived here, specifically building the house and moving in (it'll take a book to tell that story).
The first morning we lived in our house, as I was sitting at the dining room table, I felt someone looking at me. Looked up and there, peering in that same back door was an elk. Female. Looking in longingly, like she wanted to come in, like we had taken her favorite grazing area. It was not lost on me. When we were building, every morning I'd come back to the construction site to find new prints in the soft dirt that would become our floor. Then I'd clean up the skat from various soon to be rooms. A tinge of guilt clouded my heart, that we were invading.

Now we've been here 16 years.

We don't see the coyote, the bear, the mountain lion (it still prowls our yard, we find the prints in the damp mud beside the garage) or the elk as often as we used to. But we do hear them. We hear the owls hoot, the eagle screech, the coyote's wail and the elk calling in the fall. It's where we live, and hope we leave but a tiny footprint when we're gone.

It's raining now in Angel Fire while I type this as I wait in the gallery for the next car load of customers. The air smells fresh with wet pine. Remember it, I say to myself. Remember it.

Labels: , , ,