I’ve often said, “nothing ever good happens after midnight.” That is unless of course, you’re sitting by a campfire with family and friends gazing up at the Montana star-lit sky….
Staying up late isn’t typical runner behavior. I find that I crack my own self up on one of my winter running routes, when I’ve been out for a while, and I pass the city school bus garage. I can hear them just getting the buses started for warming up to start running the routes…now that’s early running!
It’s also hard to want to stay up late when you know the next day’s heat is going to make any type of running twice as hard if you embark any time after 9……yet, when my brother put on the fire logs there was no turning back.
At least not until I jumped up to realize that Anna (a friend who had made a surprise visit to see me) had never seen the sunset overlooking the Yellowstone river and the hills….so we all jumped into the back of Drew’s truck (my brother) and sped through the field to get to the valley before the sun set. (Leave it to the 5-year-old to question the safety of such travel as we’re bumping and hanging about the back…..I assured her it was “farm-girl” safe. She gave me a look in between the bounces letting me know my reason would never stand up in court.)
Then, stopping short of the hills, Drew spotted, off in the distance, Elk antlers up against the sky-line. Well, we weren’t going to make what I had romantically pictured in my head as us standing on top of the hills watching the sky light up in a rainbow of colors as the sun set over the Yellowstone river, but this wasn’t going to be bad.
We crept closer in the truck until they made their first move towards the hills. Drew stopped and then “called out to them” in “elk talk” and I’ll be jiggered if they didn’t stop in their tracks and look about. This gave us some time to get out of the truck bed and begin creeping up on the two elk. We’d creep, they’d move, Drew would call and so the pattern went.
Our story was simply beginning, though many would think spotting two elk might be enough for one night, we were in for the views of a lifetime as the sun continued to go down.
The fire started to snap, the air filled with the smells of toasted marshmallows, and the stars replaced the blackness with natures flickering flashlights. The night sky served as our audience for the stories we continued to tell, one leading easily into the next. The more we laughed, the more nature responded with it’s beauty. We were enjoying each other’s company so much that the best gift was completely that, a surprise gift as all of a sudden, as if planned, we all looked up to the sky to see the start of what was going to be the most breathe taking show any of us had ever seen in our lives. The stars were merely the opening act. Colors began dancing along the valley ridge line, streaking up in every color of the rainbow into the once blackness. The flashing spread out along the entire horizon line, making the pine trees, and jagged rocks appear to be dancing against the colors.
Again, this is where we thought it couldn’t get any better……..and then this lone bright streak began to walk itself across the dark as if taking a staircase across the sky. We all sat, trance like, each wondering if our tired eyes were playing tricks on us. The light continued to grow across the sky until it touched the other horizon line. We were all now looking at something that can only be described as a night rainbow. I sat with Montana on my lap collecting this magical moment of a promise that even in the darkest of times, with faith, family, friends, and fortitude, one would be given the chance to make any sincere dream come true. And just like any magical moment, the light began to fade, we all began to breathe, thoughts, hopes, prayers, and goals were collected, and smiles exchanged.
I’m so fortunate I was able to spend this moment with not only my daughter, but some of my best people in life (thanks again for coming Anna), and with thoughts of my other best people who were with me in spirit, because they always are.
So, when you least expect it, during the hours when it’s not likely, look up……you just never know when you’re rainbow will show itself.
Groovy Girls Stay Up Waaaaay Too Late, But For All The Right Reasons