traces 8.18.2010

H Vestal 1905 carved into the sandstone. “All you can leave is thought,” Henry Real Bird’s idea, or at least his quote. H. Vestal left his name...a measure of where he once stood. His trace just here with this line of horizon, its dips and peaks largely unchanged. Is this place different for his standing here? We still call this ranch The Vestal Place in honor of his effort to etch upon these rolling scrabble hills a means of survival. The small house still standing, 4 rooms and a privy, the support of outbuildings. It is nostalgic to me for its trace of a long ago lambing season, me fifteen years old and naive to ranching. I was unaware that I was making a memory still held close in this my 57th year. What will The Vestal Place or anywhere hold of me when I am gone? “All you can leave is thought.” Is it true? Or are there less defined remnants of those whose shoes mark this soil. We spend a lifetime considering it and a lifetime unknowingly laying down traces that will remain.