What have I missed at the Homestead today while I have busily picked away at my to-do list? What egg hatched today, what track was left in the soft mud as a sign of the community I still sit on the periphery of? What new flower bloomed that I need to learn? What berry was set?
So much happens each day in the woods and the fact that I am not there to witness it leaves me with a deep feeling of loss, even if I don’t know what it is I am missing. When I go for hike up at the Homestead and see the round leaved orchids blooming it is like stumbling across a hidden treasure and I greedily want more. I want lupine and larkspur to tumble down the hillsides like a blue steam of water. I want to say I was there when the ravens fledged from the nests, that I saw the eagle teaching its young to fly. It breaks my heart knowing that a bear might be crossing the meadow and all I will have of his passing is pile of dried scat. It makes me ache to think that a bobcat might be stalking a snow shoe hare in the tangle of brush by the old cabin and I will go to my grave never having seen a bobcat in the wild.
No matter how many round leaved orchids or mountain lion tracks I find, I will always wonder what I missed. What I missed paying bills or grocery shopping or doing laundry or even being off somewhere else entirely, on a trip to experience other wonders. I even ache for the week I was in the Big Horns seeing alpine fields of scarlet geraniums and a moose and her baby in the Lamar Valley. Because something equally miraculous was happening at the Homestead and I missed it.