Lake Yellowstone looks like a hand.

I heard once that some medicinal plants look like the body part they are intended to treat. The shape of a stomach, a kidney, in the leaves and in the roots. The thumb of Lake Yellowstone like a hitchhiker’s hail mary.

The core of the earth is closer to the surface in Yellowstone than in any other place in the world. Looking out over endless toy train village pines, I can feel the core warmth surround me and I feel like I am a speck of dirt in the hand of some malevolent giant. I felt the same way one other time, in a crowded club in San Francisco, sweating to a pulse alongside people I will never meet.

I watch a young couple bathing in the Firehole River. The sulphuric heat cradles them like the walls of a womb, and they call out. They are trying to swim upsteam but the current gently returns them to the place where their voices still echo, and they laugh and wave their hands.


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