My Trip into the Rabbit Hole.
The day began ordinarily enough, with a sunrise walk with Pippa. We both notice the new burro poop-piles around camp; Pippa does lots of sniffing but I’m content to just look. Although Pippa and I are becoming terribly alike in many ways (my friend now refers to either of us by the name of “Kippa”) we still retain some individual traits.
After a walk and coffee, I take the van up the road and spend a couple hours writing at the Wayside. Today it’s warm enough that I tie Pippa outside and sit with her in the sunshine. She chews a hoof beside her German Shepherd friend, Rio; I finish my coffee and enjoy a breakfast sandwich while I work.
I’ve taken to ordering a bit of food while I write as a way of saying thank-you to the Wayside for the wifi. There are lots of Quad riders in today; a group of 12 gathers for breakfast before a ride. There is talk about a waterfall nearby that is currently without water.
On returning to camp, my friend and I canoe into the rookery (a plan we concocted yesterday) to see the herons and their nests. The water is still, and we paddle amidst the greenery and all the noisy little coots, which are small black water birds with strange looking bills. Now I know where the term noisy old coot comes from 🙂
We count 9 nests in one small area, and see at least a half dozen herons close up. It’s peaceful. The sun is warm. The water sparkly. Pelicans fly in formation above us. Grebes chatter to each other.
We then do a little fishing. I did a little fishing! I haven’t fished in 25 years. I don’t actually want to catch a fish and I know for sure I could never bonk one on the head. But I enjoyed casting the line in, and feeling the water gently tug at it. I love how it draws me into the water, inviting me to sink more deeply into a state of relaxation. My friend caught a small bass and released it. I was happy to see it swim away. I was also happy to eat a pan-full of fresh-caught crappie fish just the other night. In a taco. I take a moment to not judge myself, but instead celebrate my complex personality 😉
After fishing, I spent time checking out a possible new camp location “one wash over” from my friend’s camp. It’s a sweet location with a phenomenal view of the lake and bird sanctuary. I feel I have been a guest beside my friend’s camp long enough, especially since I’m not quite ready to leave yet, and have no idea when I will be “moved” to head out.
Learning how to be a good neighbour-friend on the road, with other people also living on the road, is a subtle art I’m still learning. This idea, which attempts to balance friendship and proximity, feels right.
News Flash! The Lost Dog from yesterday has a new pack! The couple who met her yesterday loved her, and adopted her. I think of all my worry yesterday and wise words from my Gram come to remind me:
“Honey. Don’t suffer before you have to”
(Implied meaning, not lost on me, is also that it will find me in due time so there is no need to rush toward it)
Funny Note: I slept terribly last night. Cold as all-get-out. Couldn’t figure out why I was so freaking cold after a nice warm fire. I was sure coyotes were howling just outside my door all night, together with a burro that had his hairy mule-lips pressed through my cracked front window.
I tossed and turned, too stubborn to turn my mattress heater on and too chilly to get up to pee. When my bladder couldn’t stand it one minute more, I went outside to pee. Squatting, squinting into the darkness toward the van, I see the silhouette of van’s back hatch. Wide open.
Good lord. I guess I feel pretty safe out here in the desert now. Not only do I not lock my doors, apparently there are times I forget to close them altogether.
Oh right, the Rabbit Hole.
So, you may be thinking I’m am referring to the Alice in Wonderland metaphorical Rabbit Hole; commonly believed to refer to a place in one’s head where thinking becomes dark and tangled. Also commonly thought to be a place one must journey as a necessary aspect of a search for wisdom.
Fooled you! Not this time, dear readers. 😉
This time I’m talking about an actual place! The final adventure of the day was a 4-wheel adventure down to the riverbed, which will remain a small creek until the rains come.
Along the way we see a deer, two cotton-tailed rabbits, two free-range steer and a small flock of birds that look like Killdeer but are not quite Killdeer. We see some awesome rock formations and are delighted to enjoy some emerging “green” on the banks.
Just as I begin to sense it’s time to return to camp before dark, my friend asks if I want to go through the Rabbit Hole.
Being a metaphoric thinker, I laugh, but quickly return to the literal to look where my friend’s gaze has turned. There is a small opening in the brush. It’s not clear to either of us what’s on the other side.
Having learned my lesson about the miracle that happens IN FIVE MINUTES, I respond with the only logical response. Of course we are going into the rabbit hole, SILLY.
Popping up the other side, it’s as if we’ve entered a whole new ecosystem, and the shade of the riverbed opens to wide- open sunshine and a wonderful view of ….
Now, how cool is THAT? A BUS in the middle of the desert!
I play here in the setting sun, remembering how as a child, I had to go home at night when the street-lights came on. And how I would squeeze every last moment of fun out of those remaining moments of daylight.
I spend time tonight thinking about the Rabbit Hole. This van-tripping thing is a bit tangly at times for sure. Sometimes it means facing the dark – literally- and figuratively.
But sometimes its just pure fun and adventure and I am filled with a child-like bliss I hope I will be able to dip into at will, for the rest of my life.
Plus, I get to make my own hashtags for my own life. About things that matter to me.