Big Canyon Road, a back road whose entrance I can't find. But once there, the engrams of farms, and familiar trees appear, then down around a steep bend to deserted resort cabins and summer homes. A dog barks, a buzzard circles the road I backpacked down and up so many times 28 years ago. Now I'm shorter of breath.

Song birds, blue larkspur, pine and oak climax forest, where Big Canyon Creek begins its long drive down to San Francisco Bay...the cabin appears:   


Same dark green outside, but insulated walls and roof, another room built on for a bedroom. Electric range where a large wood stove was, larger windows, a new porch built over land that sharply slants.

"The water intake pipe no longer silts up," the massage therapist from Berkeley says, as his telephone rings. A telephone too!

Was this my hermitage for a year?

Winter mornings far below freezing—
light the wood stove, jump back into bed.
Summer nights, a light bulb would singe
my skin, but the Gods were always near.

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