Looking out across that landscape she felt everything she’d left behind. The community she’d been a part of. How exciting everyday had been. How she could walk down the street in L.A. and meet a dozen different artists on one block. And that wasn’t all. She’d fallen in love for the first time there and though it hadn’t lasted long she had left those memories behind also–even though those memories were a knot and a hook in her chest, she wondered if the feel of something missing would ever be fulfilled again.
She stuffed Walden back in her bag and drew out a notebook with a pen fitted in the spiral binding. She eased it out and opened the notebook to a new page. One completely unblemished with anything wrong. On the rock, on Sauk Mountain, in the Cascades, in Washington, in her notebook, she wrote these words:
I think I want to fall in love. I can feel this as a new frontier. Something has changed in the world–my world–and I am not the person I was just months–a month ago. If not for love what have I returned for? Not my family. Their support is lacking in the extreme. Not the weather–though this one has been relatively sunny for Washington. So love. The most unlikely circumstance to fall into–but what other force in all the world could have taken me from a location I truly loved. Only love has that power to bring me back from where I was.
Who am I kidding? You have to know someone in order to fall in love.
She closed her notebook and watched the sun dip lower in the west. Her mother was terrified she’s slip and break her ankle or smash her arm on these excursions. With the snow hardly melted it could be treacherous. She’d bruised herself all over by climbing down Pilchuck in the dark. If there hadn’t been a woman there to help her who had an extra headlamp she figured she would have broken her phone at the very least. But this wouldn’t be like that. Sauk had very little snow.
She sat and watched the sun dip. She wished it could just stop and wait and not set because the sooner it set the sooner she would have to go back to real life–and she didn’t like real life much. It was full of responsibilities she didn’t want to deal with–or that was what her mother said, and maybe she believed that. The main thing was she’d rather not be around her parents, if she could help it. She knew how to take care of herself, though they never would admit it.
The sun almost down now, she stood and, resigned to the worst, to the brutal honesty of real life, she picked up her backpack and started down the mountain, picking out the sturdy rocks that wouldn’t shift underneath her. Only the ones that could support her weight.