The bison climbed at their molasses pace, each step tapping out a geologic backbeat for the stones. As each animal came broadside to me it would pause and swing the woolly anvil of its head to face me, then fix me with a brown, uncorrupted stare. From twenty feet away they peered out from behind huge shanks of hair and I saw a blue-collar expression embedded in their blunt faces, a resignation and a working man’s blues. Like old prize fighters, I could believe they had seen everything.
It took half an hour for the herd to pass, parting around me as if I was a rock in a stream. After they were gone I remained looking at the empty field. I felt washed clean. Brute strength and power are serious narcotics, so too the ultimately delicate and fine. As a species we are drawn to these extremes, the unique and rare lassoing us with their unsuspecting beauty. In the wake of the bison, I sensed a space opening inside of me — I had been let in on a momentous secret. To this day, I have no idea what that secret might be.
But that does not bother me in the least.