From the mountain he would come, about halfway through our visit to lay on the deck near the table and the food, by the railing that looked down the slope and to the creek. We'd have cherry seed spitting contests, Blue underfoot – cherries from Washington, sweet dying cheeks and tongues, over the side, I don't think we ever measured who won, and how can you see a cherry seed land into a field of grass when the summer wind is tickling your scalp and camp robbers sing in the pines? I can't say I was friends with Old Blue, but at the time I imagined it very so. Blue was a mountain dog and he had little time for play or games, but he was old and he was tame and he liked to be around people, and so I came to love him and expect him each visit, though he was a complete mystery. Nobody knew where Old Blue came from and he would vanish off into the woods at dusk. He would appear out of nowhere – perhaps a week or so into a summer stay – around supper of course or lunch at times. We thought he belonged to the cabin across the glade, the next road down – the one that turned to an old logging road about a quarter mile up, but Arthur talked to them and they knew Blue, but knew not where he came. Forest Green was too far, and the small cluster of cabins across the highway was scarcely inhabited. So Blue lived, seemingly feral in the woods and came around each summer to pay us company and beg some gristle. In my mind he was free and fought bears and mountain lions on a daily basis. So I began to watch the forest path, as I play among the trees and creek – up through the meadow beyond where I should venture alone, but often did. I would imagine I'd see Blue or a bear – patterned with the leaves and needles of pine. A bear beyond the cattle gate, who couldn't cross the metal grate, I'd peer as though my eyes were made of magma, so wishing and forceful – past fallen trees and rotten logs and ferns, please let me see the black tuft of a bears ear, or a hear an unfamiliar sound crying from the ravine.
This blog is a place for me to journal some of my memories and some of my thoughts and ideas. It will be pretty low key and casual. Thanks for having a look!
- Drew Nelson
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