We sped west against the wind, accompanied by something buoyant and Baroque beamed from the classical radio station in the city Wyatt the dog and I were leaving behind. The music faded to static in the Front Range foothills before I could learn the composer.
It was a moonless Sunday morning, “bible black” to borrow from Dylan Thomas, though three illuminated crucifixes pierced the sanctity of predawn dark from the nearby hillsides and broadcast their makers’ piety to the heavens. I’m no biblical scholar, but I think Jesus was speaking a little more metaphorically when he said, “Let your light so shine before men, that they may see your good works and glorify your Father in heaven.”
The sun rose with little fanfare, its entrance undermined by a curtain of clouds. The temperature flirted with freezing, but spring’s fresh presence was palpable as Wyatt and I ventured into Pike National Forest along a faded four-wheel-drive path.
The air was musty and pungent. Lichen swathed trees and boulders in pastel green. Overachieving buds stretched for light.
By late morning, the sun elbowed its way through the clouds. The trail ended in a circular glade, where we paused our ramble so Wyatt could enjoy a snack and I could long for the banana I left in the car.
I reclined on a throne-like stump while Wyatt unearthed and cavorted with a baseball-size rock; I recalled a quote from the legendary Rogers Hornsby: “People ask me what I do in the winter when there’s no baseball. I’ll tell you what I do. I stare out the window and wait for spring.” For Wyatt, this was spring training and opening day rolled into one; Reese and Miles have graduated to front-office roles.
Though I missed the rest of our crew, I savored the solitude—the respite from the real world (temporary ignorance of whatever destructive fuckwittery our pseudo-president and his corrosive cabal were up to indeed provided brief bliss). And we were not truly without company.
Birds sailed by and bustled in the woods in more varieties than one could keep up with, chattering, chirping and warbling all the while. My inability to determine their species made their songs no less enjoyable.