The sound no longer registers. Hundreds of thousands, maybe millions of impacts have dulled my senses; I no longer hear my boot striking the trail. It is selective filtration, the repetitious, man made noise subjugated.
Willow Flat stretches to my left, its dense vegetation offering life in the form of food and concealment. Frequent moose sightings confirm their fondness for the habitat. Unseen sandhill cranes chatter, drawing my attention from the trail. The search is brief, my eyes captured by the bordering lake and mountains beyond. A familiar feeling begins in my chest and spreads, excitement builds, alerting my senses, filtering inputs.
The trail is short, located behind Jackson Lake Lodge, it has just enough uphill to deter the less serious, to thin the crowd. Interpretive signs offer an excuse to read and rest, a place to glance at Willow Flat and turn back. I am not here for signs, I am here for her.
I have never questioned her beauty, never questioned her ability to arouse. I have seen her radiance while desert heat drained my energy; I have layered against her winters, struggled through snow, wondered if her harsh greeting or her beauty teared the corner of my eye. She has rewarded my efforts in many corners of our world, her gift tied to a specific area, part of the geography, part of the climate. Today’s experience could be anywhere; her gift today is her smile.
Touching the sky with a gentle rain, she reveals her mood. An arc of color blends, the bright interior separated from darker skies by blues, violets, and reds. I have never gazed at a rainbow and imagined physical depth; they appear thin, almost fragile, ghostlike. It is elusive, yet the gift unmistakable. Its depth; her depth, lies in her ability to reach within, to pull thought to the surface, altering those willing to become part of her life.
She has turned an outward search inward, refracting perceptions. A churning passion, always felt but never conveyed, passes through her prism. White emotion, transparent emotion, is transformed, developing color, becoming visible.
The colors fade, a moment passes; I hold a memory, I transcribe a memory. The depth of her rainbow, the depth of her beauty, is mine forever.