We drove along the deserted forest road without speaking, taking in the majestic beauty that surrounded us. We hadn't been here in over 25 years. Things had changed in that time making things appear new like we were seeing them for the very first time. We carried no map, no GPS, only the direction indicator that lite up on the pickup's rear-view mirror. We stopped and ate lunch in the sun along side the vanishing creek; roasted chicken from the grocery store deli and BBQ-ed beans from a can while sitting on the tailgate of our daughter's little Chevy. Memories of our life together washed over us in waves as we recognized familiar looking places. "Somewhere along here is where we went on the trail ride. We crossed the creek and rode up an old skid road," my husband Dennis said. I had no recollection of that but I did remember trips up here with my parents and once with Dennis's mom, Arlene. That was before we were parents. Arlene and my dad are both gone now...the memories where sweet.
We stopped without concern of time to take photographs of God's splendor...color spots of glittering gold. In the bottom of the draw, five lone surviving aspen trees stood 40 to 50 feet tall surrounded by a thick grove of young suckers, the rebirth after a massive forest fire a few years back. While we strolled amongst the spindly white bark the sun peaked through the branches. A symphony of golden instruments softly played overhead in the gentle breeze showering us with tender leaves that settled into a carpet below.
Mule deer doe with their fawns gathered together in small bands basking in the sun, taking in the unusually warm October day. They stood in pose long enough for me to adjust the settings on my new digital camera, allowing me to capture their beauty.
I appreciate the time...alone once again with my husband and friend of thirty years. Our only child, a girl, is away at her last year of collage preparing to begin her life on her own. We adjust to her not being here with us. Unlike so many other couples that became parents soon after marriage, Dennis and I had 10 years together, just the two of us before we started our little family. We already know how to be alone with each other and are comforted by each others presence. I enjoyed the opportunity...being surrounded by natures spectacular golden treasures...and I don't just mean the aspens.
Sherrie Gant is a writer, photographer, and