I’m at home in the Kootenays and riding my horse every single day. The spring sunshine is warm on my face. I lift my chin and close my eyes, rocking in the saddle and enjoying the weird sensation of vertigo. Leaving hoof prints in the crystallizing snow, we cross a field speckled with skinny young fir trees, their needles soft and fragrant in my hand. The snow is shrinking and hiding curled under the skirts of tree branches.
This evening I smell the new shoots in the flower bed next to the house. Mauve crocuses have closed their delicate petals for the night. The odor of warm dirt, tender growth and snow is an irony for the senses.
In the dimming light voices call out through the neighborhood for children to come inside and have supper. I don’t bother to turn on any lights or close the windows to stop the creeping dark and cold. Wandering through the house I end up standing in the doorway of Nick’s room. His toys and books are getting dusty. Now, I’m a crumpled, snotty heap on the floor. Eventually I crawl into my bed and sleep long dreamless hours, grateful for the escape.
Two friends take me to Trapper John’s in Salmo for a meal and a few drinks. On the outskirts of a little out-of-the-way town, on a night in the middle of the week, we have the place almost to ourselves. The owner is a good friend of one of the girls I’m with. The guy is a total non-conformer and doesn’t fit the type for living in this backwoods place, other than he smokes the green stuff. Under the big roof of warm log timbers we eat too much, drink too much and I catch up on my quota for laughter. My friends and family gather around me, keeping me close.
March 21, 1999