Back to the Eastman Ranch for another stint of beauty, the cowboy carnival, horses, and a whole new season in the Bighorn Basin.
(If you happened to miss the first round, check here for an introduction.)
Phil and I find so much clarity of mind when we get the chance to abandon the city for a while, welcoming the stillness of the ground and sweeping majesty of the Wyoming sky. It's a lifestyle I could easily get used to - the feeling of working for results beyond money. Tilling soil, planting fruits and vegetables to harvest in the coming season, and caring for animals who in turn care for us are all rewards that far outweigh monetary value. These are things that reconnect us with life, and remind us of what we are, where we come from, and what we owe our lives to.
We attended the Cowboy Carnival, a very small yearly town gathering with various contests such as the sharp shooter, best pie, sheepdog herding, and handmade quilts. There were mounds of various meats to try, each butchered by the farmer who raised them, along with rolls and baked beans, both probably from a tin. Oh, and pies. Many, many pies.
The rest of the week consisted of weed pulling, garden prep, handy work, mucking, dinner making and poetry reading, as well as a surprise visit from my dad. He's the one in the red sweater.
When I was a kid, my dad told me that his favorite animal was a swallow, being charmed by their clear joy in simply being. The unabashed fun they are willing to display is something he admires. I caught him in a moment of wonder, surrounded by a chorus of little black wings, dipping and swimming through the crisp wind.