Reflections on Fool's Adventure by Rob Ferguson, host of "Mountains to Sea" on 90.5, WWCU FM:
After driving across the desert and up, up into the heart of the high country, we've finally arrived at our old friend's home at dawn. She greets us at the door, wrapped in a morning shawl and a joy irrepressible. She carries the calmness of the holy. We can hear echoes of Rufus and Chaka Khan's "Tell Me Something Good" playing through the house. She reverently hugs each one and welcomes us inside her life, challenging each of us to read between all her lines. The adventure begins.
Our bellies full from hearty western breakfasts and ribs sore from laughter and full-body embraces, we tack our horses with saddle blankets from the back stables and clip clop out onto the high plains of our guide's childhood. She points out her history along our trail. Each boulder, each dry wash, each ridgeline a biography.
Stopping and dismounting at a cedar-lined lake, our host channels her muse, submerges her hands into her reflection and we commune at the lakeside. Each one joining in, feeling inseparable from the natural world. Understanding that skin is no boundary. The magic of wildness is inside us and envelopes us. We are the mystery we seek.
The day draws long. We ride, somberly at first, further into the wild. As mountains and animals reveal themselves, our color returns over and over. We rejoice in sacred reverence. With each step we're propelled further, together. No longer individuals. We share the breeze-blown cadence of the green aspen grove.
Dusk. Campfire. Prayerful voices raised in the flickering half-light. Our guide slowly reveals why we've come, why we've followed her this far. We keep her time, she shares her mystery.
In a circle, in vino veritas. The past drips sultry down our chins. Long-ago lovers make us blush in the memory. Yet we straighten our backs and declare: in the struggle, they taught us to love ourselves.Our prayer: Dulcius Ex Asperis.
Out of small conversations, our guide slowly emerges as the truly luminous among us. While embers wink shyly, the moon shines only for her. We're drawn in. Confronted with pure beauty, some cry. Some hearts fill with gratitude. Some stare lovingly. A seemingly private moment of admiration is an experience of shared clarity. Wine-warm and loved, we sleep "the sleep of the saved and the thankful."
Dawn. Blues and purples drape the vast western canvas. Sage tickles our noses, teases us awake. Safe and warm, we had dreamed of wild animals. We had dreamed of ourselves. Our host, already clear-eyed, faces away from the circle, praises the sunrise. We stretch into our new skin, blankets fall away. Masks slide and become ash. We shake our fur and follow our guide deeper into the wildness. The adventure continues.