How I have longed for the weekend this week. I found myself encompassed by everyone’s mini-crises but mine throughout the work-week. I know that Mercury is in retrograde and all that good stuff….but I have come to realize that people, in and of themselves, thrive on drama. The most incredulous I encountered this past week was a co-worker sitting in her cube crying because one of her false eyelashes fell into her coffee. I thought there may be more to it than that and asked her if everything else was alright. In her biggest “I Love Lucy” Waaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaahhhhhhhh!! She cried out that everything else was fine, she just didn’t want to go around with one eyelash on. When I suggested that she take the other one off and asked if she carried mascara, you would have thought I saved the world. Lord and Lady….I need to spend days…weeks in the woods.
It has been so much more than a yearning for the weekend for me though. I need time. I need space. I need to feel the breeze pushing me from behind, the sun pulling me forward, and nature singing me to sleep. I will get the time and space soon enough. My partner is taking a trip back home to South Dakota for a week. Those times are wonderful for us. They give us time to miss each other…to think about the things that we enjoy about each other. In a way, it can be more romantic for us than date night.
The yearning I am feeling is the type of hunger that makes you throw camping gear into the back of a pickup, put your dog in the front seat, load your backpack with your witchy goods and drive into the Tennessee hills until you can’t see civilization. I want to get lost in Nature and rely on her for all that I need. I want to curl up in the lap of the Goddess and feel that motherly nurturing…but also want to roam the land as the stag Lord, bellowing at the top of my lungs so that those within earshot feel my strength.
I am in need of Adventure.
I can hear those mountains calling to me…just as they first called to me fifteen years ago. I was living in Knoxville Tennessee at the time. I was in school full time, working full time, and feeling completely lost. I rarely got any time to myself and days off were scarce, but I happened to have one Saturday with absolutely nothing to do. One of my school mates had agreed to keep my aussie at her farm so that she and I could be together. The farm was only a ten minute drive from the apartments I was living in, so it worked out wonderfully. That Saturday, I threw some sandwiches and sodas in a cooler, put it in the back of my old Ford Ranger, and stopped off to get my dog. She bounded into the seat beside me sensing what was stirring in my craw.
We just started driving. The windows were down and I could feel the breeze pulling me deeper into those Tennessee Hills. We ended up somewhere outside of Sevierville in an area that was some sort of State Park/camping area. I got out and Patches came bounding out behind me. She was one of the best herding dogs I ever had, watched me like a hawk and did exactly what I asked her to do. We both climbed onto the tailgate of that old pickup. I opened the cooler and dished some of the cool water in my hand. Patches lapped at it until she had her fill. We ate sandwiches ( I would have a bite, then she would…this is the way we always did it). I washed out one of the coke bottles in the lake nearby and filled it with the water from the cooler and we both started up the mountain. To be that skinny and in shape again…LOL! We trekked through the trees and trails…Patches was so excited. She had a grin that always indicated to me that nothing in the world could be more fulfilling.
We walked a little slower as we came to an area with a beautiful view of the lake. I sat down on a fallen tree and there was my dog sitting right beside me. She was the first animal who truly had laid claim to my heart. She was mine and I was hers. She was fearless (well, except for thunderstorms) and she was the one who taught me to let my senses lead me. She is the one who taught me that some of the best sleep happened in the woods with a dog next to you. To Patches….everything seemed new. She romped and jumped and danced at everything. Her favorite thing of all times was to play tag in the back pasture. Many days I would find myself running back and forth…all for the entertainment of that blue merled sweetheart.
Patches taught me many things. She taught me how to walk fearlessly toward anything new. She taught me to always run toward those things that showed promise. She taught me to be a fierce friend…and on this day, she taught me that you could always climb mountains as long as you had momentum behind you. She also taught me something else that day…probably the most valuable lesson I have ever learned. I had turned my back for a minute and Patches had run up the ridge behind us. I turned around and she was leaping toward me. There was three feet between me and the edge of that mountain. There was no doubt in her mind that I would catch her…and there was nothing else for me to do. I had to catch her. I reached into mid-air and grabbed her and held her as close to my chest as I could. She looked up at me panting, but smiling that uncomplicated, trusting smile. She knew I would never intentionally let anything happen to her.
I realized in that moment that life is one big trust fall. Things happen….alot of shitty things. So many of us have become untrusting of so many things…even ourselves. That day, that innocent little dog taught me to trust in myself, my doubts, my fears. Over the course of time, I let circumstances and the turbulence of life make me afraid. Sometimes when it would have accomplished so much more to leap head on into life…I held back, scared that there would be no one or nothing there to catch me.
Lately, my heart has begun to crave the new….the uncertain. Lately, life has been about conquering the unconquerable. Too old….not me. Too fat…give me time. Never been done…watch me. I don’t know what has shifted in me lately, but when I look into the distance, I don’t see something I can’t reach. I see an adventure lying on the horizon just waiting for me to leap toward it….and I fully intend to bring a few folks with me. Some may go kicking and screaming and some may embrace it…but I am not going alone.
If no one else wants to come…I know a little blue chihuahua who embodies that same spirit of trust and adventure who will run right alongside me.