Two Homes

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My city. I take intense pleasure in my sojourns in wilderness. I have favorites among the visions available in dark skies–the star, Vega, in the late summer sky whispers to me still of August camping trips with cousins fifty years ago when I first learned to trace the constellation of Lyra and its neighbor, Cygnus the swan flying across the diaphanous Milky Way. Scorpio, full above the southern horizon when I open my eyes at midnight on my cot in Saline Valley in May. And the dazzling collection of winter constellations–Orion, the Big Dipper, Gemini, Auriga, and Taurus. All wilderness companions. There is a special pleasure on the ridge lines of the Norse Peak Wilderness in winter when snow is on the ground and fog is in the air and occasional shafts of sun transform the trees into wizards and temples and fairy lands. Yes, I love the wilderness. And I love my city–the dizzying metropolis, a kaleidoscope of humanity, successful and tortured, famous and obscure, green-haired and pierced, scarved and demur in clothes that speak of North Africa or Amish country. I’m at home in the wilderness, in the quiet and dark and wild. And I’m home here, too. Surrounded by lights and noise and technology. Two homes.

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