By Sarah Canelas
Gila National Forest, NM
October 26, 2018
Of all the sites we’ve visited, this one seems the most awake.
On our first day here, however, it rained. Not lightly—not a drizzle—but a heavy downpour, flooding the washes and forming deep pools. The river filled and clouded with mud.
I was out exploring during the rainstorm. I was soaked, but the woods were quiet.
Over the next few days, though, that would change. Birds would gather, murmuring to each other, and chase one another through the trees. Pollinators would settle, finding remaining flowers in the warmth of the sun. The trees and brush were filled with the rustling of motion, full of activity.
And when I would walk the same path that I had in rainy isolation, I was not alone.
There was so much life—and so much activity. And in comparison to the other independent sites we had visited, this seemed entirely their space—not ours. Some times, I felt like an intruder. At others, I felt like a welcome guest. But, I never felt as if I were anything but a visitor.
It was not my space. And may never be my space.
There was something comforting about that.