One xero day for Brad (Trail name Freestyle) of eating, resting and computer work before he returns to the trail, this time with Benton. We say goodbye and then Ed and I do a little hiking and angeling at Sonora Pass before we too depart, glad we'd been there in that beautiful place and delighted to have seen Brad again.
|Benton, Ed and Brad at Sonora Pass|
|Freestyle and Benton depart from Sonora Pass|
Now the rain is falling, freshly, in the intervals between sunlight,
a Pacific squall started no one knows where, drawn east
as the drifts of warm air make a channel;
it moves its own way, like water or the mind,
and spills this rain passing over. The Sierras will catch
it as last snow flurries before summer, observed only by
the wakened marmots at 10,000 feet,
and we will come across it again as larkspur and penstemon
sprouting along a creekside above Sonora Pass next August.
And the snowmelt will trickle into Dead Man’s Creek and
the creek spill into the Stanislaus and the Stanislaus into
the San Joaquin and the San Joaquin into the slow salt marshes
of the day.
That’s not the end of it: the gray jays of the mountains
eat larkspur seeds which cannot propagate otherwise.
To stimulate the process you have to soak gathered seeds
all night in the acids of old coffee
and then score them gently with a very sharp knife before
you plant them in the garden.
You might use what was left of the coffee we drank in Lisa’s
There were orange poppies on the table in a clear glass vase,
stained near the bottom to the color of sunrise;
the unstated theme was the blessedness of gathering and the
blessing of dispersal—
it made you glad for beauty like that, casual and intense,
lasting as long as the poppies last.