There are stories behind these images. Infinite tales. There are ashes spread with bare hands in rich rocky dark soil. There are prayer flags flapping in mountain breezes and evening grosbeaks and homemade muffins and the spirit of Ross soaring in and all around it. An old truck with a flag that flaps. Blue sky that feels like it might burn into your retinas. And that feeling of sun on your arms and legs. The way your skin smells after a day in the sun. Dusty. But cleaner than you remember it being for a long time.

There are shards of pottery in the spirit garden. The fat fish lady looking upward in her perennial way. There are ancient license plates from around the world. A 1973 FJ55 we call Sunny. And a rusted gate that reminds us of the path. But mostly there is Ross, waiting there for us.

A dust devil kicked up in a spray of impressive natural power. That’s him. Birds singing at the tops of their lungs from the tops of the trees. The ditch rushing with just-thawed spring runoff. That ghostly, gorgeous dawn light. That’s him.

And if you’re particularly lucky, if you’re perched at the top of a splintery cedar balcony, clutching a glass of sparkling champagne, smiling from somewhere in your solar plexus, then maybe, just maybe, that thick fog will roll in. Unexpected. Enchanting. Under that huge Fairplay sky. You might just get wrapped up in him.

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