Fresh morning; at an elevation of 6100′ our desert cools at night, every night. Hot summer days are balanced by magical evenings of long low light that seem to be unreal, like living in a painting. Right now though, our first week of temps in the 70s is predicted, which doesn’t mean that we won’t get a snow squall sometime in June.
A type of “anticipatory anxiety” surrounds the change into “real summer” – and the subtle emotional interference of knowing that “summer is brief” adds a biting dread. The West is not at all like those “homey” green and tree-enclosed environments of the Midwest, where I grew up, and which I fled, like a migrating salmon, whale or xxxpulled by a magnetic tether or a few molecules of home waters mingled in the currents.
Unlike many rural locations, those born here tend to stay – leaving for college, the military or a ‘job’ in a big city but returning eventually, like the salmon, to raise a family, quietly, automatically, reflexively, but without an economic rebound in the usual “boom and bust” cycle of extractive industries, and due to simple demographics of the baby boomers, and without much immigration, the town is ageing rapidly. “We” old folks ought to move on to sunny winter havens; some do, but most of us are glued to this place by knowledge; by experience in the “outer world” – the U.S. one sees on TV. Frantic, insane, polarized. It’s as if no one remembers that they are human; technology drives millions, like sardines or anchovies in a bait ball, that “supposedly” offers “safety in numbers” – a temporary illusion.
The bait ball – A “visual analogy” for modern social urban environments…
A small number of Homo sapiens “stay” in our Wyoming desert instead of migrating through the area as Native Americans and trappers did, thanks to an assist from geography and technology: a year-round supply of river water flowing out of mountains to the north, the transcontinental railway, and the Interstate system. Unlike snow monkeys, we don’t drink our own poo, thanks to a water processing system. And thankfully, we’re not “cute” and don’t attract unwanted attention.
Many people are not aware that this hot spring lifestyle is a recent cultural behavior that the snow monkeys copied from humans.
Sometimes instinct is the Mother of Invention… Salmon whose migration route is disturbed by flooding exploit the challenge as an opportunity.
But…escape one predator, get caught by another…
Instinct – a very good thing, fundamental to animal life. Social humans don’t see it this way. Intuitive visual thinkers trust instinct; intuitive “messages” are instinct at work.