How would we survive, but for one another
He wet his face on the chill of the glacier and it stung. Beats coffee for waking up.
The higher-dwelling of the mountain species could be heard all around. The sun rises unhurriedly. Water rippling nearby gives the impression of time moving slowly.
There remained a deal of work ahead in the day for the wanderer, but alone on the hillside for now, he worked to Gaia's rhythms.
Outside the hut, the sun sinks against the west.
I smoke, read left-behind magazines
Watch hills silhouette the sky.
Low stars arrive
Day fades at its own pace
Night settles in, still thoroughly alone.
So scattered the settlements,
and ports few-and-far between.
Seeing a tiny settlement specked against the wide land meant the promise of supplies and companionship. At the end of a job it also meant payment.
Twelve pounds for a dog, if you fancied one.
A meal, stories traded, and a bed at a friends customarily free.
Despite long days between meetings, trust warmth and friendliness between those in such parts were as plentiful as they were welcome. It wasn't a world without disputes. But it was a world where locked doors and hidden carkeys would remain uncommon for another two decades.
To walk alone is as much a challenge for some as it is a pleasure to others.
Toils notwithstanding, life among the hills can teach to be alone but not lonely. It renews appreciation for the times one has together - with others and with oneself.
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