1. I love you like the sisters love maps. I love you like I love these guides that lead us to the best versions of ourselves, out into the world on wild adventures, or back home to our clan. I love you with a love as indelible as the contours of the land, and send you these notes like topo lines to approximate, demonstrate, sketch out the shapes and colors of my love in a portable form you can tuck in your pocket and take anywhere.


  3. I love you like the sun’s shadows love the ground, which they use as a vast canvas to frolic and splash their broad paintings with the play of light and air. I love you like the sun loves the playfulness and beauty writ in the sharp focus and soft edges that separate light from dark in an ever-changing tableau that charts the passage of the day.


  4. I love you like tan skin loves the feel of mountain water in the morning, its outer layers springing wide awake to meet the sunshine and wind in patterned fields of goosebumps rippling over capable muscles.  I love you like bronze, dirt-gritted skin loves the blots of quivering water still fresh and alive from the lake which soothe and cleanse the marks of its labors, like it greets them with pores thrown open to embrace and drink in every sensation the crisp glorious day pours into the air.


  6. I love you like the face of the mountain loves the cool curtains of afternoon rain that sweep over the ridges, whose hemlines frolic along the ground plumping green leaves, brightening lichens, filling springs, smoothing stones, and freshening the air. I love you like the mountain loves the threads of crisp water that unravel from these sheets, and unfolds its limbs from sunny perches each day, stretching and reaching to greet their arrival and collect their delicious bounty.


  9. I love you like the climber, the geologist, the alpinist with callused hands loves the cracks in the rocks that wind up along the face of a cliff, meandering and branching and merging, and uses them to pull her up and up, as if along the beanstalk, to vanish in the fantastic world that resides at its top.


  12. I love you, too, like one side of the wall loves the other, and winds its way along its partner in a complimentary dance along the crack’s length, each side drawing closer and farther and expressing itself with flourishes and ridges as various as the crack is long.


  14. I love you like the sailor, the climber, the camper, the outdoorswoman loves her knots.  Like she loves the union they comprise of function and intricate beauty, of art and strength.  Her knots bear loads and make the impossible possible, assisting her engine as it propels her onward, upward, forward through whatever obstacles she faces on her ventures.  Her knots are tightly knit, comforting, and above all strong, and she does not live a day without their assistance.