A tempestuous, twisting wind approaches as I work the colts in the corral. I see it coming from down the pasture, full of turbulent, crazy golden leaves interweaving, entwining in a wild spiral on a random path across the open. I lean my back against the wood fence for support and squint my eyes as the fury abruptly passes though, feeling the grit on my face, holding onto to my hat with one hand. The colts run in circles with their heads flinging high. They do not like this wind. It stirs up the hard, dry ground, sending a swirl of dust mixed in with the cyclone of windswept yellow leaves. I watch as this powerful little gust snakes around the barn and bursts into the grove of aspen, stirring up the leaves in a violent untamed torrent, a quick burst of wind stripping the leaves prematurely.
And then it is gone. The colts settle. I straighten my hat and resume my work.
The fine grey branches are now still, left naked and exposed. The mountain has been blown clean, clear. The trees breathe and absorb the comfort of the low and warm autumn sunlight, now touching the silver bark directly. No longer covered by the elaborate fanfare of their golden show, like a fancy dress and powdered cheeks, covering the pure and simple beauty of a land in need of no further adornment.
The show is over. They leave the mountain in a torrid swirl of traffic, taking with them their noises, demands, conflicts, history as bottomless and heavy as the snow that covers the land and buries these snags for just a little while. The mountain settles, recovers, and sighs, deep and heavy and slow. Lets out her leaves for the season and longs for the long cold season of frigid tranquility.