“Dark and cold and no wind and a thin gray reef beginning along the eastern rim of the world. He walked out on the prairie and stood holding his hat like some supplicant to the darkness over them all and he stood there for a long time.”
“He rode with the sun coppering his face and the red wind blowing out of the west. He turned south along the old war trail and he rode out to the crest of a low rise and dismounted and dropped the reins and walked out and stood like a man come to the end of something.”
To feel born out of time.
Adrift, lost and floating.
I understand the sentiment. The desire.
Deep down feeling so strongly you awoke too late and missed an era better suited.
I have always felt this way. Again, ruined by stories of adventure from another age. Feeling I somehow belonged more fully to a time when adventure and exploration was nothing more than a good pair of boots and a hitchhike away.
A dirty and bearded smiling man in sepia tone.
I too have found myself at the crest staring into the descending day, the reddening of the western sky laid out ahead of me. Promises of danger and death. A willingness to prove you’re not the man you believe yourself to be.
The lure of of discovering you just might be.
I’ve looked out across prairie vistas and desert skylines and felt the pull in my chest, the burning in my stomach.
The absolute need.
To step out and disappear.
I understand the men who went out into that wilderness so long ago.
The desire not to tame but to grow wild within it.
To bear fangs and claws and fight with the viciousness of wolves and tear the ground beneath.
I feel that same pull on the New England shore as the sea pounds and slams and pulls the land back down inside itself. The ancient mariner who knew what he faced out on her churning body, beautiful curves hiding impending death.
I feel their call to sea.
Not to conquer.
But to prove with knife and line that you belonged out there beside her.
Salt and wind and strong.
I always felt a kinship to those men who carried forth into the wild of sea and land. A knife and ruck and boots on their feet.
Hoping to one day return.
At peace with the fact they may not.
To be smashed upon far away shores, lost within the depths, covered beneath windswept sands.
Or to grow old, and long in tooth and tale.
To carve a name into stone.
An “I was here” in the heart of the wild.