There are the things I will miss, of course. The early morning walks through the sagebrush, crumbling the fragrant stems between my fingers as deer bounded over the back hillside. The sun dropping over the mountains, setting fire to the sky soon to be blazoned with a seemingly endless patchwork of stars. The creek running under the gravel driveway, bookending the barn with the huge spring-fed pond in the back, deep enough for Emma to swim in on hot summer days.

And then there are the things that will miss me.

See, there are bullets coming.

The creek hasn’t run in a few years, and the pond in the back has been dry just as long, as the aquifer keeps dropping. A massive development is already going up a few hundred yards from the barn, the swath of once vacant land stretching across the canyon having been subdivided and sold to covid-reactionary space-seekers. The night sky will soon be lit by a different kind of light, that of television screens pointing through windows and headlights turning from concrete driveways onto the freshly paved streets covering the land across which we used to ride our horses home.

These are the things that will miss me, these bullets tearing into the fabric of what was a peaceful canyon, with green shoots of life ever present on the creek bank and around the pond, these bullets of progress ripping across the gravel driveway earlier this week, as I pulled away for the last time.

Grateful for the things I will miss.

And sad for the things that will miss me.

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