just like chapters in a book there is no set length to the chapters of life. some are long and some are short. you turn a page and things end or things continue. i have some regrets about decisions i've made in the last couple of years but once you start down a path... what's the point in looking back? face forward, progress. i read somewhere that you are only old when your regrets replace your dreams. coming out on the other side of those decisions, i have a few more grey hairs but we are otherwise unscathed.
in the early fall it seemed like our future might be in a beautiful valley west of the rockies but with the turn of a page it looked like it was across the country, closer to our roots as individuals and as a family.
what followed were weeks of packing tape and cardboard and the cleansing that comes with throwing out all of the shit you collect unnecessarily. we stuffed our life into a an overpriced van, i shut off the water, lowered the heat and waved goodbye to the anchor of a house that is still standing tall in the high plains.
east. i drove a bloated Uhaul into the sunrise, following the pull of our origins.
it feels like home here. all of it. the sun, the snow, the hills. i can literally feel the pulse of these streams in my bones. call bullshit if you want, but it won't make it any less real. i drive along a spring creek each morning, flowing east without a hint of ice on it's edge. it's bordered by decaying snow and single digits temperatures, yet it pushes on indifferent to the logic of it's surroundings. sleek brown trout feed in it's flows and just the thought of them is enough to fuel another day.
my dog and i crammed in as much hunting as we could before we left. i will miss those birds. our last few hours spent in a nebraska field offered us two sharptails. natives to the region, just as it should be.
people say grouse numbers are down, that we are at a low point in the cycle, but the other night i had to swerve to avoid hitting one on my drive home. then i remembered i don't listen to what other people say about these things. i find out on my own, as we all should. writing the chapters of our own stories.