Runoff from the Midway Geyser Basin into the Firehole River
Places | Sacred Wonderland

Reflections on a first encounter

As revealed in the previous post, Melanie and I met on October 1, 1978. On a bitter cold night in Ohio more than 15 years later, she reflected on that first encounter in Yellowstone National Park. Here is what she wrote:

Saturday 29 January 1994

-30os a light dusting of snow off and on all day — the moon in the east clear and on the wane, like love in many people’s hearts.

I was thinking of Midway Geyser Basin tonight — the steam, the hot geyser water — I was taking a shower and opened the window and the bathroom filled with steam and I remembered Sojo taking me by the hand and leading me into the water, and we sat and talked about things close to our hearts — of loves lost and loves gained and the stars kept us company and the moon lurked somewhere behind a cloud — restless yet consistent. And then there were the other times with co-workers, groups of people, but the magic didn’t come out as much with many people there — and then Tom. I took Tom — dropped my clothes on the parking lot side of the bridge and ran towards the far side — naked — free as air — I was exposed but not vulnerable — the night air cold and windy wrapped itself around my body not to keep me warm but to touch me — embrace the delicate lines and curves — the water cold and crisp at first awoke our senses, prepared us for sacrifice — cleansed our thoughts, our minds from who we thought we were, who we thought we should be and then together we moved into the warm waters flowing from the river banks, from the Gods of the earth — and together naked we stood in the river, and time did not exist, we did not exist, life did not exist, and we gave ourselves that night to something that was beyond comprehension — beyond our understanding, beyond our fears, beyond our wishes and dreams. Naked we stood and sat, and swam in the river of death and the river of life, and knew not where we were — only embracing the words from each other’s lips, the laughter, the smile, the look in our eyes — we faced one another without our skins — slowly they melted away in the warm waters ‘til all that we had left was our souls and looking at one another we thought we recognized a part of ourselves there in the other’s soul — a small part that we had lost somewhere along the way to becoming a man, to becoming a woman and we smiled and knew outside the realms of time that we had finally found what we were looking for … in the steaming waters of the Firehole River October 1, 1978.

Footbridge over the Firehole River at the Midway Geyser Basin, Yellowstone National Park
Footbridge over the Firehole River at the Midway Geyser Basin, Yellowstone National Park (Photo by T.S. Bremer, 2015)

[Daily post 072 of 260 in my year-long challenge.] ♨

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