Wednesday, January 01, 2014

Wistful thinking

Last night I was thinking about where my heart wanted to be. Strangely enough it wasn't in these mountains, nor was it in Ohio with some of my loved ones. It was in the west, where the nights are crisp and clear and you can see billions of stars while listening to the distant songs of the coyotes and the wind would sigh through the needles on the cacti around us. Where there was no light-noise from any towns because they were all too far away and the only human sounds were our own.

As I let my fingers travel over the keyboard and my mind wander, this is the result...

When I was a kid we would go camping. Not the kind of camping where you're in a campground with a few dozen other people, but the kind where we would take a "road" out into the desert and find a decent spot. We kept away from the creek beds and such since flash floods really can happen out of nowhere. My dad would park the Jeep ('53 Willy's Jeep Wagon) and we'd set up the tent, locate a place for the "latrine" far enough from camp for privacy and close enough for safety, and start gathering wood for a fire. We brought our own food, of course. Usually hot dogs or burgers with baked beans on the side and homemade chocolate chip cookies for dessert. We kids knew to make noise when we walked so that the snakes would steer clear of us, and we were allowed to wander about as long as we stayed within shouting distance. When it started getting dark we would head back to the camp for dinner. There was a change in the air. Not really cooler yet, but the edge of it. Before the sun was halfway down we could see stars shining. I would sit with my back to the fire so I wouldn't lose my night vision and I'd try to see how many stars I could pick out before they were bright enough to see clearly. Once the sun cleared the horizon, darkness fell quickly and the deep purple of the sky soon became black. Then, oh how the stars pricked the night! So bold and crisp that you felt that you could reach out and pick a couple of them to hold in your hands. Even as a girl, I knew the magic and wonder of that beauty.

I haven't experienced that anywhere else. I think it's because of the humidity in the other places I've lived.

Ah, now I really want to go back and visit. I don't think I'd want to sleep in a tent anymore since I've grown to appreciate a comfortable bed, but a small RV or even a tent-trailer. I could stay out there for days on end, listening to the desert world.

I think I'll include this in my story for my Dad (the one in my life now).