Wake up slowly, miles from anywhere. Stoke the fire and watch the sun wash the snow for a slow noon hour.
Then, layer up and ride out while daylight still lingers like sugar on the ridgelines.
Break trail a while, then stop to watch the sky go soft around the edges,
and to sweetly kiss someone wonderful at the top of the world,
while that world turns to silhouettes and shadows, and the valley shivers with steam rising from the overflowed creek.
Hold on, swallow fear, and fly over rattling ice you can hardly hear over your rattling heart.
And climb a hill and wonder, breathless, at the pathless wilderness, the sure mountains with the sun pressed between their shoulder blades.
Watch your breath fog in the cold and know that months have come and gone since human boots have printed this hilltop. Let the shape of this bowl of sky press into your memory while you leave winding, wood-gathering footprints on the hillside.
Build a fire while the sunlight dies. Make dinner and press palms to the column of heat while you wait for the moonrise to break the soft peaks of the horizon.
Let the night overflow, then ebb to moonlight and the shadows of two human figures on the snow. When the firewood is gone, take the long road home. Arrive late. Arrive cold. Arrive stiff and stumbling and exhausted. Arrive grinning and shivering and grinning. Sleep well, sleep warm.