Posted June 21, 2017 – Narrated by Carmen
“When Beauty and Beauty meet
All naked, fair to fair,
The earth is crying-sweet,
And scattering-bright the air,
Eddying, dizzying, closing round,
With soft and drunken laughter;
Veiling all that may befall
After — after —
Where Beauty and Beauty met,by Rupert Brooke (1912)
Earth’s still a-tremble there,
And winds are scented yet,
And memory-soft the air,
Bosoming, folding glints of light,
And shreds of shadowy laughter;
Not the tears that fill the years
After — after —“
We don’t actually live in Beauty (our Airstream trailer).
Beauty’s more like a big rolling suitcase to facilitate our preference for living outside, in beauty. The outdoors is our home and Beauty our porter … our long, long leash … our silver Walden Pond.
Beauty dislodges us from the conventional, the static, and the tedium so we can range wide and hunt down moments.
Moonlit night moments watching a doe lead her faun to the river … afternoon lightening-storm moments when we run for cover in the vineyard … foggy morning on the beach moments sipping coffee …
And, as long as all those moments range between 50-90 degrees, we’re good.
More and more we realize what hot-house flowers we are and how our sense of adventure recoils in icy, windy and snowy conditions. When temperatures dip below the 50’s, we hitch-up, turn south and haul-tail.
So what were we thinking?
The Grand Tetons and then, Yellowstone for a family reunion! Of course it would snow in June. We expected it to snow in June just like it snowed the last time we were in Yellowstone in 1990 … in June. A year ago, we packed our silk underwear, parkas and boots just for this occasion.
All year, we propped ourselves up like doomsday preppers – hoping that won’t kill us will make us stronger.
When we arrived to the Tetons the weather was unseasonable – an incredible 70-90 in the daytime and 40-60 at night!
However, snow was predicted within 48 hours.
So we got busy.
First day, we cycled about twenty miles.
Second day we visited Jackson Hole.
The next day we hiked and the next and the next …
and, then we soaked…
… still no storm but the same weather report: Winter conditions within 48 hours. Flooding due to the incredible melt closed roads and caused long detours across the valley.
Okay, what’s next? Kayaking!
First we needed our boats inspected for micro organisms which could negatively impact this fragile environment.
We launched “The Smurfs” on String Lake.
and then portaged to Leigh Lake.
Kayaking the crystalline Teton lakes on June 6th, heightened my awareness of Spaceship Earth and this planetary trajectory we’re all in.
So deeply connected to nature…
… in these unique conditions of warm, windless silence, towering snowy peaks, intense sunlight – all combined to create a sense of weightlessness, even flight.
Stroking across the watery vestibule I thought how this place is entitled to the best I have to offer – my attention, engagement, respect, joy and sorrow.
The world is for All – to commune and to immerse in.
Creation is a pleasure to be experienced in the cathedral of Presence, as its nurturing, healing elements flow into the rituals of every faith.
Some things are just inexplicably holy.
There is breath here – an awakening of life – and a call to stewardship.
Trout lingered in the shade of our kayaks. Perhaps we provided cover from the eagles and hawks.
We’d hoped to view large wildlife on the shore,
but gazing too hard at the sun-splashed water called for a short nap instead.
Portaging between the lakes was the toughest part, but our lightweight kayaks made our work easier than if we’d used the rental boats.
As usual, several people inquired about our Advanced Elements inflatables. The Smurfs are great friend-makers.
We didn’t want the day to end and had thought we’d give Jenny Lake a go – but the winter storm predicted for almost two weeks now, suddenly blew in.
On our way home to Gros Ventre Campground (pronounced GROW VAUNT) the scenic eleven-mile detour winding through the valley presented new views of the mountain range and when we finally turned toward home, I thought I saw an almost perfect resemblance to Dürer’s Praying Hands.
Good. We’d need all the help we can get as we travel higher into Yellowstone.