"Let’s fly away just up the road before school starts."
And so we did. Up to the Northeast, into the Cascades to My Lady of the Forest Lake. First thing when we arrive, my husband uses the facilities and the teenager and I begin a small journey .
There were huge trees all around whose trunks exceeded my normal tree horizon expectations. And they were so very tall, but I hadn’t had time to look up yet. I felt a dance-y little feeling with the boring name of Anticipation. Auntie Payton was making my heart thrill at the thought of a long stroll. A sprawl with my pad, a day by a natural lake with very old and large trees. A day to allow us to more deeply take in the rugged, vast natural wilderness bordering our domain.
I’m living in the fucking mountains (in a valley). How cool is that? Joy is appropriate. Respect. Awe. Because these are my new landscapes, the places whose winds will caress me, no matter how spiritual or mundane I feel. This is a liquid rolling landscape of mountains. They dance along the horizon leaning in crazy angles or with tall sharp domes which make me gasp.
The Teenager and I rush to the shoreline. There is a group of people with their cute mutt sitting at a picnic table, not too far from the no pets allowed in this area sign. We veered to the right and walked along the rocky beach. There was gravel on the beach area, but in the water were smooth rounded chicken egg sized rocks.
Rocks. So many rocks. I love rocks. They stir me. Maybe this is why I now live between huge mountain ranges.
My heart is thrilling by now. I am on a rock finding mission. As I plant containers filled with perennials into the ground at home, I have this wish to surround them with rocks, making each pot its own small medicine wheel.
I hesitate to begin again picking up rocks. For a while, in my early thirties, I was so in love with rocks that I gathered them everywhere I went in my short lived career selling land and timber. After gathering a yard full of mostly smallish rocks, I suddenly began to perceive the rocks as some kind of karmic symbology or currency. I decided I had enough baggage and quit bringing rocks home as if they were orphaned pets. I, instead, respected their right to stay right they had landed in their long lives. I quit kidnapping stones.
When I met my husband-to-be in his yard the first time,, I could not help but be favorably impressed that he used local yard rock to build walls, and walkways, stop erosion and any way he could use the natural building material. I’d found my man-rock, apparently. There is lots of karma that goes with that.
But now, living far away, with lots less rock baggage than I used to have, I’m anxious to gather more stones to surround me in the new digs. My cursory fifty foot walk on the beach promised riches. I looked landward into the forest and felt awe for the trees. The teenager sat in a huge beach chair and looked picturesque.
Then we ran to join Papa and the picnic started. We choose the handicapped access picnic area, one made perfectly for a wheelchair with no seat at all on one side and asphalt access to that side. There was a huge stump near by. I hopped from a smaller secondary stump to the larger one, dancing in my spiffy new shoes.
The Teenager demanded I stop before I disturbed angry hornets. “Are there hornets?” I ask while stooping to look down. I don’t see any hornets, but I do see a big hole in the stump. The stomping had sounded as if the stump was hollow. I jumped off and got the table supplied.
We gathered to eat. As soon as we opened our food, we were swarmed with yellow jackets. I jumped up with my food and took my chances with two or three of them instead of fifty. The Teenager did the same. Papa said, “If you don’t bother them, they won’t bother you."
I found the yellow jackets were rapidly making me lose my appetite. Then I heard my husband yell and I ran to him. A yellow jacket had bitten his tongue. He asked me to pull the stinger out of his tongue! The stinger looked like a briar, just like the damned tire poppers ones I’ve been digging out near the street. I pluck the wicked thing out. Our Girl Scout Teenager, ever prepared, pulled out the Benadryl. Papa took two. I put the picnic stuff in the car and we scooted right on out of there.
On the way home, The Teenager said, “Nana, I told you not to jump on that stump."