April 7, 2020 / Understanding.
“Instead of always being “on,” working for that next shot or next idea, this was an opportunity to just be. ”
“All we can do is breathe deeply, step forward, and trust in the light right in front of us.”
More from Amy @ http://amygrisak.com/
Introductory note: When I moved to Montana in 2011 my interests in gardening, the outdoors, and food quickly led me to Amy. She shares a design background (landscape), appreciation of black labs, and is a writer to aspire to. I remember sitting around her kitchen table drinking stovetop espresso, and hashing out ideas for my “new life“ as an architect in Montana. Amy also was my first introduction to home schooling, and her boys‘ deep exploration of certain subjects could give the greatest critics second thoughts.
Last night I snuck out to the Buffalo Jump to enjoy the almost full moon and find a moment of peace. It’s not that life is all that much different with the physical isolation – we homeschool so the boys are always home – I just needed an unoccupied moment.
Rounding the backside of the jump along the gravel road just past sunset, 3 owls, my best guess being short-eared owls, glided and dove through the surrounding fields. Owls are always a good omen in my mind. Stopping once to try to capture a photo, I thought better of it and decided to simply enjoy their presence. Instead of always being “on,” working for that next shot or next idea, this was an opportunity to just be.
It was a big relief to see the parking lot empty, as I wasn’t sure if the area took on a different character of visitors at dark as many of our favorite recreational areas that are fine during the day, but to be avoided at night. Donning my pack with the tripod strapped to it since the ruse of night images was one way to justify my leaving, I hoofed it up the trail as quickly as possible wanting to be out of sight. For me, encountering, or at least seeing, the 4 legged residents was the plan, but alone and after dark, I do my best to avoid the 2 legged types. Nearing the top, I noticed a car stopping, backing up, and driving back slowly. As it went around a corner, I dashed off the trail scrambling to a higher area hopefully out of sight, especially since I noticed him turning around and coming back around. Thankfully, he continued, albeit painfully slowly, along the road leaving me in peace.
So I sat. The moon was already quite high illuminating much of the landscape. The lights from houses in the distance were bothersome in an otherwise peaceful moment so I simply closed my eyes and listened mostly to the wind swirling among the grasses, occasionally picking up a bird or movement. I’d like to say I was able to quiet my thoughts, but the monkey mind still reigned. There were a few moments, though, where I didn’t stew about whether I will ever be able to finish assignments, keep the boys on task with their schoolwork, ensure our family is well-stocked and safe, and figure out how to help others when I feel so helpless. It was a start.
The darkness really settled in by the time I decided to leave. Thankfully, the moonlight was still strong enough to pick my way back to the trail and back to the vehicle without clicking on the headlight. At times, I couldn’t see much beyond what was in front of me, which was slightly disconcerting, yet also oddly appropriate for the times. We can’t see the end. All we can do is breathe deeply, step forward, and trust in the light right in front of us.