The whirl of the winch, the spin of the handle.
The sound of the waves rushing past, rapping the hull like a rhythmic drum verse; a pulse as we ride up the mountainous swell and surf down the other side, deep into its trough.
Whoosh. Arms and hands a smear of gray as they spin around and around pulling in the ease on the sheet.
“It’s me! I’m coming down, I’m coming down.”
A flap of the chute, a snap really, as it settles back into position. Full and bright. A parachute tugging its charge down a watery path.
The early morning sun is starting to wake. She stretches her glittery rays up above her head tickling the high clouds and winking a soulful “good morning!” to the rolling waters of Lake Michigan.
The sailors pause a moment, faces angled to the east, embracing the golden warmth of the rays, drinking in the colors of the birth of a new morning.
A moment later, the chute, indignant that it be ignored in the face of a new day, signals its displeasure with a loud snap as it folds into itself.
Startled, the sailors return their attention to the roiling waters, the wind, the sway of their vessel.
When I was a little girl, I liked to pretend that I was a cowgirl.
I would spend hours getting lost in daydreams of wrangling cattle and of strapping on my chaps and spurs and riding off into the sunset on my lively steed.
I so badly wanted to live the life of adventure that was so often the main vein running through the stories that recounted the days of the wild west.
Stories of heroic cowpoke protagonists, of miners living high atop the Rocky Mountains, of straight shooters and showdowns.
And though I don’t partake in any high noon showdowns or spend much time around horses, I like to think that I am living out my childhood dreams of cowgirl adventures via elk jerky and apple picnics at the top of high mountain summits. Through wandering drives up old access roads in search of snow in July. Through the twangy stories told during a private blue grass show on a deck overlooking Telluride and the San Juans. Through evenings spent on a wobbly, spider-ridden kayak watching fireworks cascade over Lake Dillon. Through hidden campsites that provide an unobstructed view of the stars and the sun rising up above Cataract Falls. Through the eyes of an eight year old as she learns the ins and outs of the world around her. And through the joy felt when close friends and family come together for an evening of ongoing laughter over charred ribs and corn on the cob dripping with melted butter.