Thursday, May 27, 2010

Spiders And Tigers And Colorado, Oh My!

The tiger’s head morphs into a giant spider and it shrieks through the fangs of a tiger. I awake, rattled and breathing heavily. I bring my hand to my chest in an attempt to soothe from the nightmare and shake the cobwebs out of my head while freezing in my not-so-40-degree sleeping bag.

Later that morning we embark on our hike through Temple Canyon with Bridget’s friend Willie. I’m hoping that the freakishly terrifying animal from my sleep isn’t a premonition of wildlife we’ll meet on the trail. After fording Grape Creek, the red rock scramble opens up into a 100-foot oval carved by water and wind. Thank you Mother Earth for the hand and foot holds that allow us to experience the inside of this masterpiece of nature. Bridget and I feel like queens surveying our land while Willie searches for the most challenging ways to traverse the crumbling rock around us. On an out-and-back hike, the "back" part seems so go much quicker; we maneuver through Cholo cacti toward the trailhead without any run-ins with tiger-spiders. (Whew!)

Our next stop is Longmont, Colorado to visit my friend Leah who emotionally rafted a class five part of my life five years ago- chemotherapy and radiation. Brij and I make an exception to use interstates to get to Leah's since we'd like to get there in time for dinner. We are introduced to Gwen, her darling of a daughter that I immediately fall in love with. Being in her presence, I recall that time of my life so vividly and with gratitude for the opportunity to be here, seeing her future in her daughter’s eyes. Maybe the terrifying tiger-spider actually represents represents the fierce feminine spirit that rages through Leah, Bridget and Gwen. Maybe it wasn’t scary omen, but one of love and rejuvenation.

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