Closing In


A short expedition today, up the Cle Elum River. The snow line is almost down to the valley bottom. When the clouds lifted for a moment, I could see up the Cooper River drainage, and those mountains are looking real wintery. The high country is closing in.

Time to shift the viewpoint to what I can see close up. Great expanses of sky are not often available this time of year. No jagged ranges on the skyline. No big vistas. Instead, my eyes turn to more intimate subjects. Walking along the river bank, I enjoy the patterns and textures of the rocks. Like snowflakes, no two are alike. I am drawn to the shapes, rounded by the river. There are smaller rocks between the larger ones, and the word interstice comes to mind–the small spaces between things. What dwells between the rocks? If I look closely, I can see smaller and smaller bits, grains of sand, tiny particles of wood, bits of leaf. There are probably insects and other organisms there too. Even the air is something, no such thing as truly empty space.

Then the rocks are speckled with raindrops as the white clouds close again. The squall sweeps down from the ridges, and I am ready to go back to my warm house.

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