Lughnasa and the Labor Day Moon
Tuesday and Wednesday gratefuls: Kate’s DEXA scan for bone density. Ruby’s a.c. for the drive. Euphoria on HBO. Ruth’s new favorite show. Rigel’s improving appetite. Amber. Mountain Waste. The blood red morning Sun. Teenagers. The complexity of their lives, made even more complex by Covid. The orange excrescence and what he’s showing us about our country.
The dawn Sun here bleeds for the Fires burning through the West. The clouds show their concern with reflected color. Northern California and the Western Slope of Colorado are aflame. Their smoke and ash foul the Air we breath even up here on Shadow Mountain.
We live in the Arapaho National Forest, filled with Lodgepole Pine and Aspen stressed by drought, valley meadows with a summer’s growth of Grasses, also dry. The National Forest Service warning signs have pegged their highest mark, Extreme, for weeks now.
Western life. Punctuated by drought. Rejuvenated by Fire. Relieved by heavy Mountain Snows. For thousands of years. “Go, West, young man.” We did. But we white folk are not nomadic. We do not know where a village can be safe. We just build. Glass and steel. Hardie board and shingles. Permanent. As if there were no fire. No drought. These are strategies of the humid East, dangerous in the arid West.
As Greeley’s famous invitation flooded the West with people from the East, pushing out, slaughtering the people who knew how to move with the seasons, we made the same mistakes over and over. I’m living in one right now. It’s beautiful here on Shadow Mountain, but this house will burn. And that’s what Lodgepole Pine Forests do. They burn. All the Trees. Leaving fertile ground for a new Ecosystem.
Humans make mistakes. Often. And the consequences are sometimes horrific. Sometimes wonderful. Human life is one long unintentional adventure in empiricism. Oh, if we do that, this happens. Some of our mistakes lead us to lives otherwise impossible. Like our life here on Shadow Mountain.
Kate and I understand that we might be living here when the Forests catch Fire. That our home may be temporary. We choose to stay for the same reasons populations of us Eastern folk spotted all over the Mountains and Intramontane regions out here do. It’s beautiful and close to the Wild Life, a reminder of a world not controlled by humans.
Oh, yes, there’s a paradox. Live where it’s not safe. Why would we do that? We’re mistake makers, non-linear decision makers. We’re human.