as a child, I spent much of my time at the base of rainier. I drank the milk of the glaciers from the craggy willis wall. we tilled the earth the mountain gave the plateau with the osceola mudflow. it was rich, thick, heavy. the blackberry bushes, cedars, and cows grew big and many there. once my legs and mind were able, I ran to the Mother Mountain bursting with glaciers and climbed all facets. despite crushing betrayal I loved her flanks, worshipped the southern Nurturing Breast range, sat contentedly alone between spindrift, basalt piles, wind ripping at my coat, and blessed the nourishment anyhow. the white, nisqually, puyallup, cowlitz all flow from my magnetic north and feed the mountains, trees, animals, and people.
I spent the rest of my childhood at my family's homestead on an alpine lake in the kootenay. the timber structure lapped water directly from the pristine depths to feed my extended family for five generations. as a baby, my mother sat me in the glacier melt in the morning and removed me at sundown. I marinated in the juices of the fertile north. last solstice the red eclipse passed at a low angle above the peaks surrounding canmore. we dropped into the ghost valley as the synchronic diffuse sun rose and heavy moon set. we ran with four tools each up the ribbon valley of the birds, rushing to the large frozen drips alone above. we chopped the ropes, drove the frozen river, breaking rocks under tires as we went. the dropping sun and rising moon spiraled us out of the valley eight hours later. the friction created by our tools, tires, and the glacial dams here filter clean melt into the kootenay.
I've returned to the source again today. coming to the glaciers and ice feels like a circle, a cycle of maturation.
written dec 2010