Duncan and I have come home to be with my family and say farewell to my grandmother.
While it was not the easiest journey, we made it safely and despite the shocking cold in the air--yesterday morning was vaguely October-ish even with all the green in the trees and on the mountains--it was well worth the trouble. I have been in need of a quiet and peaceful place, searching for an escape which I finally found in my mother's garden.
While Duncan plays outside with Zeus, the neighbor's German Shepherd, I wander across the grass and marvel at the place my mother and Kevin have carved out for themselves on the edge of the desolate and sage-riddled desert foothills. It is lush and green here like we don't have even in Colorado. The calendar may say that summer is nearly upon us but in Pocatello Spring seems to only have just begun. The ground is still very soft and dark and moist, and the garden is practically dripping with nectar. The Russian Olives have not yet bloomed even though they are nearly finished in Denver where the Lindens are already beginning to open and waft. As Duncan and Zeus frolic and chase one another I find a nice warm, sun-dappled spot in the shade and listen to the birds, which come in colors I have not seen since I left Illinois: the tanagers with their bright heads, the magpies, purple and cobalt in the sun, the tiny darting hummingbirds, so small and fragile but so fiercely territorial. The air smells clean and delicious and rich enough that I can almost lap at it with my tongue. A buck meandered into the yard and excited Roo, who chased it off before returning to me.
This place is a time capsule where magic can unlock memory. I drive the streets past new buildings and homes, up mountain roads that wind and wend, my muscles somehow remembering where the potholes are, where to slow for dips in the road. There is hardly a place in this town not tied to some precious spot in my heart, and with very little effort I can see the faces I surrounded myself with twenty and thirty years ago. The Universe always listens and sometimes it answers us if we ask the right question. Just yesterday I literally bumped into my friend April and her two sons, the very April I wrote about a week ago but did not expect to see or hear from. There is great magic here indeed.
I have forgotten how perfect this place can be at times and shouldn't have to work so hard to be reminded that no matter how isolated I sometimes feel in Denver, that there is a home here for me, a place where I feel rejuvenated and safe, even if only through photographs and sweet, golden memory. Immaculate and untouchable.