How Does It Feel To Touch The Stars?
To reach a star takes infinite patience and unquestionable courage.
The majesty one beholds at the foot of the Rocky Mountains impels visions and dreams.
Lying at the gateway are trails into the valleys which travel beyond human footprint. Trails of heritage and understanding of the visions of the few who have passed through.
Astraevs, named for the God of the Stars, arrived in the wilds of the Rockies’ while only a colt; his caregivers never successful in harboring his spirit, his self-determination, nor his brute strength; at 18 hands he would not be held behind gates. In the darkness and silence of the forest and with the stars guiding him along the trail he knew he was home.
Now, years later breaking through the tree line of the forest his movements were swift. Spring had arrived and as he had done for many years he was escorting his herd down to the valleys. They knew no fencing, no limits; their home was vast and free from humans.
The sun rays clarified the hidden shadows as the herd passed down the trail towards the valleys. The emerald ponds reflected the shadow of the immune support oaring far above the snow caps of the mountains stopping long enough to rest and then disappearing far beyond the summit continuing their venture to the west coast where they would meet the millions of salmon along the mighty Fraser River.
Astraevs stood tall at the crown of the ridge taking in the landscape. It had been a long winter season and the herd anxious to greet their destination. His eyes followed the fouls and colts, always wanting to stop and play, cantering into the tree lines along the trails. He watched the weighty moms, careful in their steps descending the trail. He knew the trail at this point would remain safe for their travel; barren of berries and seeds, only attracting the winter white owl, nesting in silence in the stump of the fallen evergreen protecting her young, who were settled deep inside the hollow.
At day’s end they gathered, with the young amidst them; Astraevs remained behind, standing alone, the solider positioned on the highest hill blended with the other shadows rolling down the stone cliffs. The stars, his stars, so bright that the moon traveled in their shadow. Silence traveled along the trail. His courage remains unquestioned; his allegiance unwavering. Honorable for his tolerance for the young, the aged and the weak.
The herd moved without interruption, day and night. In the distance the silence of the forest was swallowed up by the sounds of the waterfall, the water crashing down onto the stones and carrying on into the spring ponds surrounded by the valleys and where they would make their home until the leaves of fall surrounded them.
Astraevs had selected two colts, now sufficient in size and maturity to train with him to protect the herd.
They positioned themselves on the perimeters of the herd, always catching the sun rays that lead into the dense forest, throwing a kaleidoscope of colors through the shadows keeping safe deep within the brush the doe’s only hours old, speckled with white spots laying in complete silence.
Along the far side of the springs the Mountain goats roamed; travelling from above the tree belt of the Mountains to the valley knowing the treasure of mineral deposits surrounding the springs for their attention.
As the days passed the valley’s vegetation burst in colors with the tiger lilies, crocuses, willows and daisies all abound. The evergreen layered in new colors of jade and the aspens now full in colors of sea moss rolling in the breezes, throwing their shadows at night under the stars.
The valley was also now home to many new colts and fouls, kid goats and the spotted fawns, all rising and staying close by their mom’s side.
Astraevs and the colts remained separated from the pack. Scents and sounds of wolf packs in the distance and the grizzly tracks surrounding the springs trained the young colts towards courage and patience. They no longer run into the forest chasing echoes now following the lead of Astraevs.
The summer carried on; Astraevs and the colts challenged only a few times by a passing Mountain Cat or the families of Black Bears travelling into the forest for berries.
On this fall evening as Astraevs lead the herd away from the valley he turned looking at the harvest of colors that lay on the ground knowing that it wouldn’t be long before the ground would be covered in snow; the falls would defy gravity and remain suspected over the cliff until the following spring, yet would offer an audience never ending pattern of constantly changing colors and shapes against the snow covered springs.