I cannot find it in me to relinquish that weekend: The sun setting my arrival in Grand Junction, the virga gray over Grand Mesa lit by drifting rays, and the splinter of light slicing a bit of rainbow.
It is beyond me to forsake the desert; all her reds and golds bowled by Books, and Monuments, and Grand Mesa... how does one abandon Grand Mesa? Where evergreens and volcanic rock skirt a hundred lakes and aspen groves applaud the wind that conducts afternoon lightning shows, thunder echoed in their clap.
Where Saturday night, when the tent was pitched next to a single, white columbine, the rain came, and we escaped the downpour by sitting in the cab of your Ranger sipping Knob Creek and interrupting the chatter of rain, then hail, then rain punctuated by booming expiations. And then afterward, when the fire was blazing down to cooking coals, we filled time drunk and tented away.
How does one obliterate this beauty? I cannot omit the Sunday night storm approaching from the east as the sun set behind us in the west. The wonder of sitting in the Colorado National Monument under a shelter overlooking Book Cliffs; watching rainbows rise from the valley where Independence stands red and resolute in the dusk of day. The lightning cutting caliginous curtains and swells of thunder rolling up the valley to wash over us in undulating repercussions.
If I could define this missing, if I could write it out, perhaps he would understand storm-spilled tears and forgive the fingers that still reach to touch cascades of rain and reserve the surge of cloudbursts. Perchance he could comprehend why my upturned face still seeks the kiss that mists rainbows across my lips. But I cannot put the chill of Colorado summer rain against his skin or impress upon him the icy drops that soaked your hair and trickled through your beard. He cannot hold the weight of Colorado rain in the cup of his hands.