The rain came rather unexpectedly last night. The sound of a heavy rain hitting the top of my car wakes me up. Knowing exactly what it is and without any time to think I slammed the trunk and lunged for my still open front window. I left it open last night to create a small draft because it just felt too good to pass up. I rethink my decision, perhaps a mistake. Rain is coming in fast and my only goal is to keep it out. A wet car and clothes could keep me pretty busy in the morning. Still in the weird limbo between sleep and being awake I manage to get the car on from the back seat and roll up my window. Fwew. I’m safe. I roll back up in my sleeping bag, ignoring the wet front seat, and don’t wake up again till morning. 8:30 Still raining. I smile. That’s okay. I enjoy watching the rain drops race down my window. The condensation making the view behind them blurred, but still at the same time beautiful. A heavy fog fills the air outside, illuminating the contrast between the greens are browns of the trees and fall grass. Watching the droplets, I drift slowly back to sleep. My plan was to make pancakes. Not this morning.
I can hear the sound of falling water from my bed. It’s coming from my left only a few yards from where I parked my car. It’s the 5 foot water fall feeding the beautiful (and surprisingly full) creek canyon directly below my hatchback. I pulled my car to the very edge for this exact reason. I hang my feet off the side of my car and contemplate what it would feel like to jackknife into the December Texas water. “If only Matt Lowe were here to encourage me,” I say quietly to myself. “It’s deep enough for sure. And I could use the shower.” Today would be the day to do it. I postpone for another day, making a mental note that I need to come back to this place. I decide to start my day. I grab a wash-rag and my water bottle and find my way to the creek bed below. I squat. I place my rag in the water and bring it to my face. Cold, but so refreshing. I’m in no hurry. I fill my water bottle and head back up. I slide the pull-out table from my hatchback and assemble my stove. I pour the fresh creek water into a pot and begin boiling. 2 minutes 10 seconds it takes to boil but I leave it rolling for another minute to kill any mitochondria or protozoa that might be still lingering. Done. I disassemble and sit again. Sipping my coffee, returning to my thoughts about swimming. I’ve got nowhere to be today. Perhaps I’ll stay here and write.
The sounds of a metal clashing against the side of a porcelain bowl wake me up this morning. It’s either Diego or Erika preparing their morning cereal. Most likely Erika, with her Organic Raisin Granola from Whole Foods. I wish I was awake enough to make fun of her for it, but if my voice cracks the jokes on me. I say nothing. I’m grateful for these friends and so appreciative for their hospitality. I adjust the covers from over my head to below my neck. Immediately I can smell the delightful scent of pine from the freshly cut Christmas tree a few inches from my feet. I stir and adjust again, noticing a warmth around my toes. It’s Max. A cute little miniature schnauzer in a sweater vest. To acknowledge him and thank him for his company I rub his belly with my wool socks. He loves it. He moans. This is a first. And almost as refreshing as last nights shower. I wouldn’t mind these every now and again. Now to go make a bowl of her cereal.
“Oh no! Poor girls” I thought as I rolled in my sleeping bag, probably for the last time this morning. It is cold. 31 degrees. Colder than usual. It is 7:18, the sun is barely coming up and out my window I can see it inching its way down the cedar tree lined rolling hills. I can see the lake from where I’m parked, through the cactus patches and the small whisper of smoke from last nights fire, I see a thin sheet of glass- it’s the lake. We are on a small peninsula in Texas. It’s the girls first time camping and wanted to give them a good experience as they pass through from L.A. to Boston. I’m excited to get up to greet this landscape for the first time. “I hope the girls made it through last night” I think, as I step out of my car. Oh no, frost! Time to nurture that fire back to life, then coffee. I begin my day.
I awoke to a brisk air. The kind you might feel while camping in the mountains of Tennessee. It’s a grey morning I can already tell even without having to open my eyes. I can feel by mind wanting to get up but my body is insisting I stay in the warm sleeping bag with the ever pleasant chilly pillow. Still, I arise. With foggy, rainy windows I begin my morning routine. But first, coffee. Light. Boil. Wait. Mix. Stir. Sip. Sigh. Sip. It’s Friday. Another day.
-Inspired by the musings of a talented friend, Tom Henry.