Yesterday, we drove up the road to the Grand Mesa again. Every day more of the aspens on the mountain are turning gold. This time, instead of driving up to Mesa Lakes, we turned left on the road to Colbran.
The two-lane highway follows Plateau Creek through a green ranching valley dotted with barns and farmhouses.
We have driven that way many times before at this time of year. Ranchers are loading bales of hay into trucks and fluorescent orange signs welcoming hunters are everywhere.
The foliage on the trees has not changed yet, but the leaves have lost the deep green of late summer. They have become almost translucent in the lower sunlight.
The air is still warm, but there is a bite in it that warns all the wild creatures to prepare for less plentiful times.
Just as the road twists through the entrenched meanders of the stream canyon, lived experience follows paths set by the twists and turns of the seasons, the demands and privileges of age, and all of the other amazing patterns laid out by nature.
These patterns are not a curse or a prison. They allow us to understand (stand under) our fellow living beings, and maybe even water that has recycled since before the dinosaurs or layered cliffs that are not as entrenched as they seem.