Magnetic North - equipping alpine seekers
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Training Journal Entry: It Isn't Sad

The first summer I lived here—when I drove a truck without AC—was the hottest one I’ve experienced in the Methow. The first winter I lived here—when I had not grown accustomed to running in the snow—was both the coldest and the snowiest. I cried every time it stormed that March.

Having been born in the Idaho Palouse but raised near Mount Rainier, until four years ago I was more attuned to the verdant rainforests and heathered subalpine of Western Washington. There, every forest being fights for ki’s allotment of light––light being the growth constraint dictating all manner of wild adaptation in the westside forests.

Upon moving to the Methow, a semiarid shrub steppe bisected by riparian wonderlands and swaths of pine, I was stunned by the obviousness of wildfire’s touch. The forests with whom I ran would often alternate between strong green arms and creaking silvery stands dense with elderberry and willow. For some reason, I found the sight of an old wildfire scar sad.

Only recently, having evacuated under the brown breath of the Twisp River Fire and lived with the Diamond Creek Fire and the McLeod Fire as my neighbors, did I realize that here fire is the governing force of life. All beings, furry or treed, adapt to flourish in a land familiar with the sweep of a blaze. Now, as I did today, I seek out my favorite old burn scars in which to run. Some days this stark landscape simply best matches how I feel inside.