It’s been a long one. I rent a cabin in Eastern Oregon, situated in a beautiful high desert valley about an hour from the nearest (small) town. I can get gas, mediocre wifi at the single coffee shop, and a few organic items at the local grocery store. Any more than that and it’s a 3 hour drive to Bend, in Central Oregon. It’s a special way of living if you ask me. You learn to appreciate the small things and not take for granted everyday amenities like a full tank of gas or fresh produce or a phone call (as we have no cell service). Even water sometimes, as we get long spells of below freezing temperatures and pipes tend to bulge and freeze and burst. We burn wood for most of our heat, wood of course that we cut. And we often times can’t go anywhere as the snow plows in the winter may or may not be on duty.

But I can walk outside my front door and watch the full moon rise at 5 in the evening and hear the songs of multiple packs of coyotes back and forth across the valley. I can wake up and look outside my front door and up the ridge in front of my cabin and see a herd of elk bedding down in a safe place for the day. I can hear the nimble wings of a bald eagle take flight off the fence in my backyard. On any given day I can go find bands of wild horses and sneak through the sagebrush to get as close as I can, and I’ve watched many of them grow up.. I can know the peace and quiet of the stillness between the hustle and bustle and even the words.

And for all of that and the things that invite more words that I have at my fingertips in this moment, I am grateful. In the next few weeks I will start to pack gear that I put away in October. Pull out cameras and computers and hard drives, and point the flat-nose of my van south for the spring.

I’ll meet you all there….where the sun shines and the hooves thunder and the hearts race.