Smoke was coming up over the ridge. It was a small single continuous strand heading to heaven. We had driven as far up the mountain as we could by car. Just as we asked, our horses were waiting for us at the ranchers house, where we were to leave the truck. The rancher was a short burly man. His face was red and weathered. I watched my love speak with him for a few short minutes before turning around to the truck where I was, with a smile on his face. He waved for me to come out of the heat of the truck to his side. I did with no complaints. I've always felt warm next to his side, like walking in sunshine to me.
I bounded out of the truck, noting to myself when we got back to town we would have to get running boards. I am just too short. I walked and he walked both meeting. Both of us smiling with our eyes, never leaving each other. His hand reached for me the closer I came. He told me, it's ready. He turned me towards the north. There I saw the smoke from the chimney coming from our cabin. He told me, they started the fire to warm the place, gave us some clean blankets, and assured us there was enough wood to get us through out the entire winter if needed.
We looked into each others eyes again, and without a sound we walked towards the truck to grab our supplies. We packed them onto the horses. He had requested that I get an older and gentle horse, for he knew I was an untrained rider, with little practice. He helped me climb upon my golden horse, and he mounted behind me to my surprise. He held a rope in one hand that was attached to the mouth of the other horse. The other hand was tightly around my waist, his fingers finding their way into my coat under my sweater onto my bare waist. They were cold and I called out with a gasp, but they warmed as he laid them there. We started on our way.
"The journey", he whispered into my ear. I smiled, my heart soared, he took my breath away. I turned to him, his mouth that was at my ear is now a breath from my lips. I kissed him gently. He gave a little "ha" and we were on our way.
The crunch of snow beneath the hooves. The bray of our strong steeds. The rocking from the jaunter. I looked towards the distance. The sun was still up, but hidden in behind snow clouds. It made the clouds shine brightly. The snow deeper still, but the path cleared from when the rancher had our hideaway readied.
There it was in our sites now. He slowed the horses. He wrapped his arm tighter around me, and I held strong to his hand. A single tear fell down my cheek. I felt it turn to ice as it reached my chin. The cabin dark against the snowy bank. The windows with a small glow of gold from the fire within the hearth. To the right of the cabin the barn stood. He came off the horse, I felt an aching familiar emptiness and
didn't like it. He must have seen or felt it too, as he told me to wait for him. He tied what should have been his horse up to the post beside the cabin. I watched him do this. Every step determined. He moved with ease, and as he turned he layed a hand on the horse. The one he just a moment ago had on my waist. There was a glove on it now. I hadn't noticed him pull it on. That was the thing about him, like a magician, smooth movements. He walked towards me. His hand raised to take mine. I put my hand in his, and the other on his shoulder and brought my leg around the horse's side. He picked me off the horse, and held me close as I slid down his body into his arms. Home.
He set me down and kissed my forehead with gentle ease as he had done a hundred times before. It felt as if we had been in this place doing this same thing a million years before. He moved keeping his hand in mine and walked our horse to the tie up. We unpacked the horses and set the bags down on the small porch of the cabin.
He reached in his pocket and pulled out a coin. Flipped it in the air and caught it. He opened up his hand and looked at me. "Damn, I lose." I laughed. He opened the door, we pulled our supplies inside, and he gave me a kiss. Gentle and sweet, just a short lingering of lips. He turned for the door and said, "One day you will have to settle the horses, while I get to settled in with a beer." He walked outside in the snowy yard and took the horses to the barn.
Watching him walk away from the cabin between the two horses, made me sigh. He disappeared into the barn, I walked to the packages we carried with our horses that short distance from the ranchers house. I laughed thinking the refridgerator seemed somewhat out of place. We could leave the supplies on the porch if it wasn't for the wild life that would come to feast in the night.
Everything in it's place I take my coat off. It was warm in the cabin. The blankets were laying on a neat pile on the small couch in front of the fireplace. I picked them up and carried them into our bedroom. The bed was the master in the room. The only other piece of furniture in the room was a bedside table to lay our things. The grand bed, big and full, I set to make it up. The pillows filled with down, I cloaked them first and set them at the foot of the bed. Then I dressed the bed with warm thick sheets. I layed the comforter over them. I placed the pillows at the head of the bed only to hear the door to the cabin open and then close. I think my heart skipped a beat.
I walked out to the main living area of the two room cabin. He was there standing in the doorway smiling. I walked to him and helped him out of his coat. His face red from the bitter cold. I kissed each of
his cheeks and layed my hand on each one after. He was too cold. I took my hands over his shoulders and hugged him close to me.
We walked together to the couch by the fire and sat. We held onto each other what seemed like forever. The way his body felt beside mine seemed right. We fit. The colour of his cheeks came back to normal. Whiskers not yet there, I felt his chin. I asked him if he wanted a drink. He nodded, but didn't let go of me. Looking in this man's eyes I felt everything. He was an Angel in disguise. The cabin was heaven. Then he spoke again, "The Journey." I simply said, "Home."
In one small place in this great vast of land, tucked into the side of a great mountain. The cabin stood. I awoken the next morning with the sun. I looked out the small window as my eyes opened. The snow had stopped. I turned and looked at my love laying next to me. His breathing slow and steady. I moved easy not to wake him. I pulled on my robe, stuffed my bare feet in slippers, and shuffled as quietly out of the room as I could.
I went to the sink and filled the kettle with water. I looked at the stove in that small corner of the room. It was a monster. Black and white monster sitting on cast iron legs. Stoves and I just do not mix. This is the time I'm thinking back to our place in the city with the microwave. Practice, I heard him say in my mind. I hated to practice, cooking was just not something I enjoyed practicing. I walked on over to the metal beast. It sneared at me I'm certain. I set the kettle onto a burner and turned the knob. The clicking of the ignitor caught a flame. Wrong burner. I turned that one off and tried the next. This one worked. Well, I thought to myself, that was not too bad. Practice is over for the day. I went to the cupboard and found two mugs. I searched the drawers for the silverware, only to find it in the last one I looked in. Typical, since kitchens and I do not get along. I spooned the instant coffee into each cup. I looked to the metal beast and saw that the steam was coming from the kettle already. I walked to it, turned off the gas, and picked up the kettle, and poured my mug first. He wouldn't be up for a while, it's still very early. I'll take this time for me.
I scooted towards the door with my mug in hand and looked into the yard. Snow still everywhere. It was beautiful. I reached with my free hand the door knob, turned, opened, and walked out. Slippers, robe, and a coffee that was my thing to do first in the morning. It could be storming and I would be doing this.
The best time for me is alone in the morning. It's quiet always. It's the opening symphany of the day. Stillness. Wind starts slow and low. This time of year the snow joins in, its icy dance across the land blown by the leader of the band. Then the tree's join in as if it knew it was it's turn to join the duet. Now
the trio. Miraculous, the symphany of the day. I felt honored to be a part of this every day. A shiver interupted the music, and I knew this was my cue to go inside. It was time for me to leave the quiet concert. The bottom of the coffee mug seen transparently in the last swallow now turned to cold. I turned and opened the door to go inside the cabin again.
I sat my mug beside his on the counter. I went throught the same ritual as I did earlier with the coffee. This time pouring his cup as well. I walked with the mugs into the bedroom. I stood in the doorway looking at the bed. He was laying on his side, his back facing me. His breathing still slow and steady moving the covers easy up and down as he did.
I stood there drinking in the sight. I thought to myself, how lucky could one woman be? How did I deserve this kind of happiness? The terrible things from my childhood, the way I rushed into one failed relationship after another as I was barely an adult, mistake after mistake. Now being 42 I think about how much time I wasted only to now know the sweetness of what I had been missing my entire life.
Timing is everything some say. I truly believe this. Before this time, I would not be ready for this love. Before this time, I would have taken it for granted. It took everything I went through, each day I went through it, each person passing in and out of my life for me to know what I needed to know for what I get to live now.
He must have smelled the coffee I held in my hands. He started to stir. I walked to our bed, sat the mugs on the bedside table next to his watch, and kissed his forehead. His eyes slowly opened. He was looking at me with his pure blue eyes. I told him I had made coffee, he laughed, pulled me into the bed beside him and held onto me tight. He told me it was good thing I didn't burn the cabin down from trying to cook anything else.
We moved in the bedroom, getting dressed. I put on my warmest socks, because my feet are always cold. Long underware are always a requirement in our little cabin. I put them on and then grabbed my jeans. I pulled on my favorite wool sweater he got me before our first trip to our hideaway. It was homemade, white knitted knots. It buttoned up the front with large wooden buttons, one of them now loose. I made a mental note to mend this when we got home.
He wore his old worn jeans, a flannel plaid shirt, with a t-shirt under it. The gold chain hung from his neck with the pendant of an Angel he tucked in after he had rolled up his sleeves. I walked to him and wrapped my arms around him. Quietly we turned to leave the room.
We moved through the cabin cupboards gathering crackers, cheese, and sausage. I filled a thermous filled with rye and put it in the bag with the rest of the supplies. That should warm us when we stop at the river. Gathering our boots, our bag, a blanket, and cloaked for the morning ride.
We walked to the barn together, the snow had blown over the path we had last night. The snow had stopped falling, but the wind was still making it dance. I looked back at the cabin just a small cabin I know, but it felt like the biggest thing in my life. It was beautiful.
The horses were hungry and anxious to move around. So I helped him feed them, while he brushed and saddled both. His horse was dark as the night, the mane and tail had white in the hair. It was muscular and regal as it stood allowing my love to work on him. I cleaned the stalls and layed fresh straw down for when we come back we wouldn't have the task. He finished my golden horse and we walked them out the barn doors.
I mounted mine and he mounted his this time. We walked them side by side through the valley between the mountains. To one side of us the forrest layed quietly. To the left of us rocks and and the polar bluffs. The Black River will soon be in site.
I looked at my love and smiled a little smile, gave a little "ya" and started to move just a bit faster now. He followed behind, I felt his gaze on me. We road a ways before he brought his horse next to mine. He held out his hand, I knew what he wanted....the reigns to my horse. I contiplated this for a moment. I resigned, passed him the reigns, with a sigh I felt like a little girl.
We road for a long while and finally found the place of where we would stop. There is a shelter with the tree's and it sat right in front of the river. We climbed down, and tied the horses. I layed the blanket on the ground next to the small lean to that was still standing from our last trip to our cabin. He made a fire and and we sat next to it just listening to the river roll and the wood crackle.
The dark water moved slowly, it was too cold for the rush it once had in the spring. The fire was golden and warm. I poured us a drink to share and we ate. Everything tasted better here in our special place in the mountains. Everything felt better as it did and always will.
We stayed there until the fire died down, in our place in the tree's. We talked of music, dreams, and things that are. We never spoke of tomorrow. I don't think either of us really thought about it. We had the day. We had each other. We had the journey. We had our cabin.
The day had been a glorious day. The sunshine, the conversation, the view. I don't remember how long we sat there on that day, not too long ago. Time seems to stand still when I think back on that day at our Cabin.
I remember packing up at the rivers side and walking our horses back to the barn. We didn't ride them back, we held the reigns in one of our hands, while our other hands held onto one another. Quiet, no words, just silence. I loved this time with him. These memories I will hold onto for my entire life.
The cabin was in site. We stopped, I felt him squeeze my hand ever so slightly, and I pulled in closer to his side. Standing close to him now I can feel the heat from his breath in my ear. He moved his arm away from my waist and found my hand again and we started off again.
It started to snow again. A light easy falling of snowflakes. I felt them fall on my face like whispers in the dark. The white easy blowing was intoxicating. I could have walked with my love in this area forever never reaching our destination. It was the journey.
We reached our cabin. Stalled the horses again, set them ready for the night. It was easy, we had most of the chores finished before we left earlier on this morning. I heard the large doors close behind us in the barn and turned to find my love walking towards me while I was feeding an apple to my horse.
What I feel for this man I cannot explain it. It's way beyond what they call love. He came to me, took me into his arms, and held me close. He whispered words that only he and I shared together every day since we have met. Holding onto each other dancing when there was no music only the words to a familiar song spoken not sung.
We deserve this life now and forever. We had gone through so much in our lives. Overcame some great obsticals along the way, alone without each other. Both of us searching and then giving up. But when we were not looking any longer, it found us, and we found each other.
Life is short, do not rush the journey, live in the day, and feel every part of it. Happiness is fleeting, love is rare, and the future is only a breath away.
The horses settled in the barn, we walked back to our cabin. This was our last night here before the trip back home. We have filled this short stay with memories that will last with us a lifetime or longer. I write in my journal every night while he sleeps. It's comforting that I can write our legacy down for those who we will leave behind in years to come.
We ate, talked, laughed, and listened to music all night after we got back to our cabin. Never running out of things to say, I know this will be our way always. Sharing the bottle of wine I remembered to bring with me, I looked at him beside me while we sat in front of the fire. I don't know if we were speaking then, but so many words were filling my mind. Closer we were, our fingers intertwined. My leg on his, I sat my glass down and did the same for him. My love, I thought, how could it be I was so lucky? His arm wrapped around my waist and pulled me closer. Our bodies melding together. It was like we were one heart, one soul, one breath. Our eyes never left one another, our lips moving closer, I feel his breath on mine. "I have loved you for all of my life", is what he said to me. Hot tears roll down my face, no words can come to my mouth. My throat was too tight, my body trembled, and if this was the last thing he said to me in my life, it would carry me forever. We kissed.
Now in telling this story of my love, you have to understand some things. Though we had many years before without each other, it was as if we had always been together. I can't remember life before him, and I cannot immagine my life without him now. When I look back, I only see his face. When I move forward, it's only for us. Some people go a whole lifetime not knowing the feeling. The weight of his touch, the smell of his skin, the reflections in his eyes, and the taste of his lips. I don't know how I could live without that now, I do remember the longing for it before we became reality, that's what makes me honored to finally know such a love now.
It exists you know. That love. It's real. It's simple. It's easy. It's life that is hard.
We woke the final morning of our time at the cabin. It was a somber morning. Quiet rustling of the bed covers, rolling over facing each other in our bed. Holding on tight to that time. The sun was barely up. The golden light was casting shadows on the curtains. Peeks of light breaking through just a little at a time.
One more ride before we had to get in our truck and go home. We both felt it. Back to reality. It was not so bad, because we would be going back together to our lives. It was just hard to leave our place here. No words exchanged between each of us, but we both knew, it was time.
I pulled in closer to him in the bed, feeling his whole body next to mine. He wrapped his arms around me and as I did around him. His arms felt good, his body warm, his lips so close to mine. We kissed again, slow and tender. Feeling his arms move on my back. One of his hands come to the back of my head kissing me deeper still. I was putty in his hands. I drift away in the sensation and back again when he stopped. My heart pounded as if it would come loose from my chest. Again, he just looked at me. It is always like he is looking so hard to see deep inside of me. Please, I pray let him see, let him know, let him feel it. It's not just the words, he needs to hear. I want to give this man anything and everything that I am or can ever be. His eyes closed and he kissed me again.
We made love that morning. It was as if it was the first time. Holding onto each other as if we may just slip away like it was a dream. Falling deeper in love, as if it could even possibly be so. Now laying there in each others arms, breathing in the morning, welcoming the sun as its rays through the window has reached us in our bed. It was I who spoke first, "Honey, I would like to take a walk to the lake agian before we leave. We can pack up and be ready to just load up and leave when we get back. Let's leave the horses here and go together on foot. What do you say?" He kissed my head, "Yes, sounds good. When did you want to start?" I closed my eyes and pulled in closer and sighed a word before closing my eyes and dreaming again. "Later" was what I said. We fell back to sleep holding onto each other.
All rights belong to its author. It was published on e-Stories.org by demand of Angel Hayden.
Published on e-Stories.org on 10/21/2011.