Peeking through the curtains of my mother’s house, I spy. Last night’s snowfall has been disturbed. In the front room I hear my father ask someone to move: You are standing in front of my sunrise.
He’s been camera ready for the Sunrise On the Living Room Wall photo-op since four a.m. When the sunrise begins, colors bounce off the steep red cliffs on the far side of the river and land on the living room wall. We never know what colors will happen. No two photos are the same.
And in the kitchen, the duck hunters are getting ready. Opening season begins right outside the door. This year my brothers have invited Wilderness Mike—the one who will teach them how to clean and prepare downed birds for an late afternoon campfire. Stuffed with sage and oranges, the duck meat loses any taste of mud, he says. But just in case, one hunter suggests packing sandwiches. Another argues back and counters with a list of Mike’s credentials, ending with: Well, Christ—he still knows how to cook mammoth.
You see, it’s moments like this that spin. I’ll find a way to peer around the corner, through that long corridor. Slip into that room. Imagine, someone in my mother’s kitchen has touched a Woolly mammoth. People have told me—I expect too much sometimes. But this time I am sure to find this Mike Guy drinking from an ivory tusk.
Photo by William O’Keefe.