Since I’ve been working on Sydney’s story, I’ve been thumbing through some of my Wyoming memories.
To the left is a photo taken oh-so-long ago as I (finally!) reached the top of a mesa in Ten Sleep, Wyoming, along with a few fabulous fellow Girl Scouts who kept me moving through the heat and hard work.
Years after the trek, I focused on the experience for a writing assignment in one of my poetry classes where I was tasked with writing about “green things.”
In honor of memories—and of mesas—I share the result of that writing assignment here...
Wild sage at the foot of the mesa I once climbed in Ten Sleep, Wyoming.
In the dry, July heat of Wyoming, I bend down to fill my empty canteen with water. I’ve got twenty pounds of provisions strapped across my back and a wet bandanna knotted just above the pulse point of my neck. I’m trying hard not to think about how hot I am, even harder not to faint. I shift my weight, boot toes digging down into the dusty dirt—and that’s when it happens: the scent of something crisp and refreshing shimmers up my nostrils. I’ve stepped into the middle of a tuft of wild sage growing at the foot of the mesa I’m about to climb. Its pale green leaves are flat, strong, and wonderfully aromatic. Energizing, even. I breathe deep, holding the scent for the barest moment before capping my canteen. Now, I’m ready to climb.