Your fetch is beside me now, a glimmer and a guess: the heat from your splendid body, the coil of your spine, your quickness and stubbornness. I can well imagine you setting out to find the Utter West, at the age of five, with a sandwich and an apple in your bandanna. The sustenance disproportionate to the quest, maybe; but that has not changed as the years have rolled over. How could it?
Longing wistfully for dalliance, but I look west myself, across the Willamette Valley to the dim hills. I come to the sea and that's the end -- you can't count air travel, or the sad waning brilliance of the Hawaiian Islands. No, for me the sea is the last wall. It goes on forever and there's nothing beyond it, nothing real. The gray and white writhing serpent who encloses Middle Earth. It's been too long since I've seen it.
So I wait for your arrival, and sun chases shadow and shadow chases sun. You are mistaken in me: I can't measure to your greatness. But I'm grateful for the mistake, and for the rumor of the quest. Silent horns blowing in the margins of memory, and white hounds glimpsed in the thicket. Maybe we will share an apple and a sandwich, up on Saddle Mountain, and guess at a brightness on the western verge that can only be the sea.