Moon ride courtesy of Earl Ytobed & Albie Upsoon
L-O-N-G nights mean that I am wide eyed at four a.m.
Bright moon means I am doing quick calculations: what time izzit?
Is it too cold to face that night air at 5 miles per hour, and give up some of this warmth in exchange for some views that I can’t even put together with my half-accurate photographic memory?
And: can I be back in time for the Tom Morton show on BBC Scotland (it’s on at 6 a.m. our time)?
THis morning all signs were affirmative.
Out into the dark with Orion plunging down behind the hills, I take a shortcut to get up to the moondrenched rocks over our canyon. The weeds offer resistance as I churn cross country, but the traction’s great because of the recent rains.
Again I send up a grateful prayer: I am ALIVE and my entire self feels so strong I could do damn near anything.
Underfoot I kick something as big and tough as a soccer ball. It’s a mushroom! Holy mackerel, it’s a boletus from planet big!
Can I get it home without crushing it, but still ride out to catch a sunrise over Elliot Preserve, where the No Houses For Perpetuity blackness broods?
A careful wrapping in my by-now redundant whim breaker, and we’re underway again.
The mushroom is so heavy it needs re-wrapping within two minutes.
I am not from the Do It Once, Do It Right Academy.
I’m from the Slapdash Reformatory, among all the high stakes compulsive gambolers…where every third undertaking is undone ‘for the want of a nail’.
We inmates try, try again, and relearn what benefits “planning’ and “care” confer.
We can only learn by doing, re-doing, re-undoing, ad nauseum.
This of course is pleasantly juxtaposed to the PhD degree brandished by the compulsive control freak.
So ok, the mushroom didn’t escape but it took two tie-downs, and will look a bit battered when it arrives back at the kitchen.
By the time I reach the flattish fire road, the deep midnight sky color pales to green in the northeast.
After I turn around (tis an out-and-back jaunt of about 40 minutes total , door-to-door with shortcut) the horizon develops black serrate hills overrun with that trout-belly colored light.
Haven’t seen that in many a month.
Life in a holler is like that.
You really have to work to see a sun rise.