Tent Fireflies

7-10-2017

Darkness, lantern turned off, listening to water dripping from the sodden trees. It is dry under the tarp, although the air is humid and the blankets feel damp. I hear night noises, quiet rustling and whispering shuffles out in the forest. I am contemplating the darkness of the nighttime world when I see a flash of tiny yellow light. It flashes several times more, I realize there is a lightening bug sitting on the outside of the tent. I see another on the other side. These two fireflies showing off their glowing tails in an effort to attract a mate. I am a silent spectator, watching with fascination, as a third firefly flies in toward the tent. I can not see the actually insects themselves, only the random yet rhythmic flashing of their tails. Its my own little personal fireworks show in the dry space under the tarp.

Owls In The Night

6-6-2017

Darkness, seems total and complete until you actually look at the darkness and notice a slight lessening of the darkness between the tree branches and leaves, where the night sky barely peaks through. I have groggily woken to a quiet dark world outside the tent windows. A breeze stir and whispers through the leaves, then almost imperceptibly, a hooting sound hauntingly echos far away through the forest and is answered in turn by another owl nearer, but still far away enough to seem dreamlike in their singing. I fall back to sleep with the barred owl lullaby.

Driving Into The Storm

5-18-2017

I drove down the mountain this evening to see a friend. We hung out for a couple of hours knitting and talking while her youngest child tried very hard not to go to bed: “I need to use the bathroom, I need a glass of water, I need to tell you something, I need to say goodnight to the gold fish, I’m too hot and itchy to sleep” She got increasingly creative. The humidity had increased to uncomfortable as a storm was brewing. We had three wonderful warm sunny days to build energy that promised to make a wicked thunder storm. As I got ready to leave, thunder was rumbling in the distance and lightening flickering behind the trees, noise and light coming from the direction I would soon be traveling. The storm was over the mountains and quickly headed this way.

As my car finally attained the main road, the wind kicked up buffeting my vehicle, and spewing new green leaves, flower petals, and litter across my path. The first tiny preliminary rain drops fell, spattering on the pollen coated windshield. Lightening arched across the night sky, illuminating the landscape with strobing electric blue light, the mountain (my home) a dark silhouette on the horizon. The pursuing darkness was blinding. Another couple of miles down the road and the sky opened up dropping a deluge, slowing my progress, wind pushing the car around, so that I had to hold tightly to the wheel. Lightening everywhere so that the darkness was almost effervescent. The bolts streaked across the whole sky, too numerous to count, blanketing blue, purple, white, and pink through the roiling clouds. Searing thick pulsing electric bolts hit the earth, revealing black mountain tops solid against the shimmering boiling strobing purple night sky.

I actually got a little nervous at the ferocity of the chaos erupting around me because I knew that kitties at home don’t like thunderstorms and I wasn’t there to comfort them. I however, love the thrill of experiencing thunderstorms: seeing lightening dance in the sky and the pink sparks and flames shower upward where it hits the earth, hearing and feeling the tremendous thunder shock rattle through the house, smelling ozone in the air from all the electricity, the tingling sensation of electric air, the humming sound rocks make right before lightening strikes, the sudden chill of gusting wind before the hail starts, the immense power and surging energy unleashed, sudden, random, and violent. Then when the storm passes, the perfect peace and tranquil quiet that follows after mother nature has blown off all her steam.

This storm passes quickly, as most thunderstorms do in the mountains. Ten miles down the road, headed up, I drive out the other side. Rain fitfully sputtering, steam rising off the the wet pavement, giant frogs all over the road soaking up the heat. I try not to run over them. Back at home, the rain has washed the pollen away, refilled the rain bucket, cooled of the oppressive humidity, and given all the plants a drink. As I step out of the car, the stars are visible through the last high wispy trailing clouds. Inside, the cats greet me lovingly, and we all climb into bed.

Smoke and Stars

4-29-2017

An amazing day on the River! The rain has finally stopped, but its cold! I have meandered up the river to a spot where some friends of mine and more of their friends have congregated for a camp fire. Beer flows freely, but I’ve had two, my limit, because I need to drive back to where my tent is. Darkness has settled in like a velvet blanket, soft, slow and smooth. The fire is warm and bright, with people all around, talking, laughing. A couple of guitars have materialized and soft music dances with the flickering firelight. I hula-hooped until I got tired and winded, then sat on a log to watch and listen. Orange sparks fly up in a crazy swirling dance when the burning wood shifts in the fire. I follow them up and see them mingle with the clear bright stars that look close enough to touch. Smoke billows upward in its own swirling dance illuminated by the orange and yellow flames. It is rather enchanting, this smoke rolling up into the night sky, as it leaves the orange light of the fire, I can still see from the blue light of the stars. People’s jubilant voices rise with it to mix with crystal star light. The air is cold, but I am warmed by friendship. A kinship of river guides, it’s a way of life here on the River, stories, campfires, smoke and stars. When I get back to my tent, I sleep a sound sleep of contentment.