Reoccurring rags

I have certain reoccurring visions… visualizations… whatever — that visit me in dreams and when I’m staring off into space (maybe eyes open, maybe closed) while daydreaming. They seem important, although I couldn’t say why.

Regardless, rags/ is one of those themes that keeps entering my psyche. An alpine trail, sometimes snow drifts across the trail and fills up the space; other times, it is a summer or spring meadow amongst the crags as the trail meanders, switchback, up the slopes to the inevitable pass. There are clutches of trees scattered across the mountains-scape, huddled together like scrawny sentinels against the winds.

The wind is dominating in these images, whether brisk or gentle. Trees sway and rustle, or they stand still while the snow skitters or the meadow grasses for waves of yellow and green, caressing the granite.

And, marking the path, there are always stone cairns or stout sticks emblazoned with scarlet red (and sun-washed) strips of cloth — shifting in the breeze or making snapping noises in the gusts. This is the strongest, most important, image I cling to when I move on with my life: Red flags on staves or stones, playing in the wind.

I’m always walking the trail marked out by these flags, although I never seem to be in motion. I receive these as snapshot images, nothing more — maybe taking a breath as I watch the flags move in the wind and survey the landscape before resuming my journey along the trail.

Or rare occasions, I envision myself in a denser bit of woods with pine needles littering the dirt path wending between the thick trunks. The cairns, flags and wind are there as well and the fluttering of the rags is muted behind the wall of trees, but they still move with the wind that manages to make it through.

I have no clue what my brain — or whatever — is trying to tell me. It reminds me a bit of my trek through the Beartooth Mountains in the 90s, except there were no switchbacks, just a steady upward path along the Stillwater River (there is no river in what I dream), nor were there cairns and flags in that reality. And I would have liked a bit of wind on that trip, as it was blazing hot during the day (albeit freezing each night). In reality, the similarities actually end with the backdrop of the mountains and there was no real mirroring of the images I am enthralled by.

All the same, I can feel these images drawing me to them, calling like ghosts from the past. I’d travel that trail if I knew where it was.

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