Sometimes, there’s a place where the grass and the sage, pine and cottonwood, rocks and scrub and a cactus or two — maybe piñon and mesquite and yucca and so forth — they all get together and make up a kind of existence that’s mildly intoxicating.
Places like this are important if you’re extra-sober to begin with.
Say if, for example, you happen to be born that way.
Little breezes ruffle and shift the scents around.
Sometimes the wind really kicks up and does its best to rearrange your day.
Mostly, these areas aren’t burdened with an overabundance of trees or houses.
You can see the horizon. You can breathe in deep and feel your mind flatten out.
Memory and time stop fighting each other. Your worst enemy might be a fence or two.
I don’t generally have anything against concentrations of trees or houses — or people, for that matter — but I need to be out in the wide angle, out in the open kind of wild.
You can see the storms coming in of an evening.
Hear the wind searching. Feel the thunder unroll, look at the lightning crack.
You can see the sun breaking in yellow through the mist or dying down red in the clouds, and you can watch it all coming in and get yourself together.
You can give yourself to it. It’s like getting ready for church or mass.
Like a wedding or a funeral.
Folks tend to be fearful of a skeleton.
Something about bone laid out bare to the weather, I’d wager.
Out there, you get reminded you’ve got one inside you. You were born with it.
Things in the land and things within us consummate and live and die all the time.
Out there you can feel it, know it for what it is — a sort of honesty uncontrived.
You can see it all coming, and see it all going.