I was up in a high place with a friend for afternoon tea today. I am head over heels in love with this big piece of wild country. Do you ever find yourself falling in love with the land around you? I mean, really falling in love, badly, terribly, righteously — like the love for the land might crush you into pieces and you can’t really tell where you begin and end when you are walking across it, threading a tight path around aspens and sagebrush, and squinting at the douglas fir as they glimmer in the sun and wind…because the very dirt and root and tooth of it all has become you? Maybe you feel there’s a seamless nature to the interface between you and the stone and the air and the mountain slopes? Maybe this is what animals feel: simply and truly a part of it all, born into belonging with their claws, feathers and fur. I love this land like I’m going to be lost if I lose it. And I suppose, in a way, I would be. For right now, I have to be out in it, every day. Being here makes everything in life so rich and good. Food tastes better. Sleep is deeper. Comforts are pure luxury. I think this is the way it’s meant to be, the way it was always meant to be.
Photo and essay by Jillian Lukiwski
©2012 This work is the property of the author.