I used to hate climbing things. I would literally dread a hill or long set of stairs, bargaining with the universe to do extra sit-ups if I could be spared.
Today I felt joyfully compelled to climb a rock. I climb slowly and purposefully, knowing this means a physical payment plan tomorrow, but I accept the terms and conditions.
I have good hiking boots and the rock has a natural grip, like sandpaper. There are lots of great hand-holds. I take a break part way, and take in the surroundings.
To my right is a giant boulder. Like so many of the rocks in this area, it appears to have been stopped mid-roll as it fell down the mountain. I think the Universe stopped the clock for just one moment after a really big explosion, but gave persmission to all the displaced rocks to remain exactly where they were at that second. Which is why they defy all logic when you really look at them.
The one above has drawings or symbols on it (lower middle) but I’m not sure if they are historically significant or not. I’ve been researching petroglyphs and pestle and mortars in this area, but so far have not come up with anything definitive.
I settle into a little dip in the rock. Below me the camping area seems to go on for miles. I see cattle grazing and in the far distance a silent 1-10 highway that stretches from one coast of the USA to the other.
Coming down was more challenging, but I took my time, usingthe rocks off to my right to brace myself. I know my limits. My friend went to the top, but I was content in my perch, still well above the trees. Back on the ground, I found two other carvings in the rock.
The day evolved this way. Me, stepping rock to rock, climbing hand over hand, crawling through, going around and staying out from under (it’s snake season). Taking note of the animals, plants, scat and tracks. No agenda. Just allowing my eyes to see, and my curiousity to engage.
I watch water beetles swimming in a sandy pools under the waterfall, marvel at the amount of fur in the coyote poop and find myself recognizing a number of bird calls.
The rest of the day I spend under a shady tree beside my van, art-playing. I draw from my memory, so I don’t get caught up in anything being accurate. Accuracy is instant buzz-kill to play.
Finally, I play in the kitchen, making a bit pot of couscous with various combined leftovers from two fridges. An unlikely concoction of couscous, onions, black beans, peppers and egg, topped with smoked cheese, it tastes surprisingly good. Play, it was. A full day of play.