as if from hundreds of miles away,as if from the home of deep stillness,
from the concave
belly of ancient earth,
where life’s rhythmic pulse quietly drums.I watch you in the lavender frozen afternoon light.
The braided limbs of a Juniper are rising behind you in a perfectly carved wingspan in angelic silhouette
unfolding from your very being,
and the vision is powerful but fragile.
It is contrasting, like the tree itself,
for even among the sinewy and contorted wooden twists of
brown gold and blood sharp needles,
the crevices are laced with delicate threads of snow and glimmering ice particles.
with this wild landsea swelling around us,
all lungs and hearts rising and falling,
we are briefly fused to one another by warm
gauze-like breath which escapes our lips into the cold air.
Tender and momentarily-tangible bits of soul, they
linger before our eyes. Then vanish.
Turning toward the steep slope,
we cross that place where once the thick
fawn-colored dust of summer held your boot track
for days on end,
for ant to quietly explore and coyote to pause over.
Now, but now – we travel atop deep drifting snow, gleaming
whiteness that reaches toward the mesa
where raven is the season’s
only witness to our quiet passing,
and the long snowshoe patterns we’re leaving behind
will be wind-swept in gracious concealment by nightfall.
Upon the ascent, you turn to face me; we are
exposed against the pale rounded breasts of winter;
we are surprised and fleeting guests in the sanctuary of God.
We are small grateful offerings on a high alter and also,
to each other.
Bowing down into the wind, we begin the descent toward home.