the summer announced itself in a haze of wine and a renewed sense of invincibility. i spent half a week barefoot howling at the moon, breaking every rule, and wishing i didn't have to say goodbye. it was strange to return home after that week even though i was welcomed back into the forest by the familiar creaking of aspen trees. it is easy to feel free here. this mountain holds a spirit i have always been close to, but my mind slips back to the home i left behind. back to friends who are nearly strangers even though they have given me a way to be happy that i never thought possible. they are true, absolute, and feel like home to me. i think i am finally learning how to love, and this thing i'm doing whatever it is feels a lot like living.