Not lazy full. Productively full.
It is a great feeling. Not a blissed out feeling, nor a manic feeling either, not dreaming, not hoping, not sleepy, not wired. Not self-satisfied, not aggressive, not rebellious, nor flag-bearing, nor charge-leading. Not shy either. It is odd how much easier it is to define ourselves principally by what we are not, when we are trying to pinpoint precisely what we are.
Last night, at The Z-Man’s request we took off the few metres past the duck and chicken coop, and down into the lake-bed. Adventures with children can be so close to home, don’t you think? It is one of the many special gifts that our children bestow upon us – the gift of staying right where you are and seeing everything so much more clearly. It is the gift of remembrance: all the magic, all the lightness, all the beingness of truly being.
Our ‘lake’ is a man-made pond that Senora Azul had dug before she left for the summer. It is a vast one-day-to-be pond, designed for the irrigation of the farm. It is already a puddle. A growing one, it swells a tad after each rainfall, but it is definitely currently a puddle. Still, to a boy raised on desert-earth, where trickles are creeks and streams are rivers, this muddy puddle – our muddy puddle – is a Lake.
And it is a-buzz with Life. Deer visit for sunrise refreshments, dragonflies dip and rise during the heat of the day. Last night it was a-buzz with the frenetic energy of a five year old boy rejoicing his own being; naked, bathing in moonlight, shrieking with delight, plowing through the grass and soaring high into the night sky as he pointed out the big dipper and ‘the Rion’. He span in circles, he sang, he was utterly unfettered, completely complete, naturally supercharged and righteously radiant.
He was incredible. Both J and I shed a humbled and grateful tear to witness this ecstasy. It was so raw, and at once so powerful and so vulnerable that we were entranced by this fire-fly that we are blessed to call son. It was utterly, totally and deliciously enchanting. We returned to camp and Z and I bathed together in the moonlight, while J played mandolin to Lady C in the tent and the crickets joined in the chorus.
This morning we repeated our field trip to the Lake. We visited the dragonflies who were already celebrating their own dance, examined the hoof-prints of the deer who had silently supped at sunrise, and were joined by our three dogs and our three ducks.
We acquired a third duck yesterday – Elizabeth, the ‘tame’ duck of a friend of a friend, who could no longer be housed where she was, due to the arrival of a rambunctious puppy. So, Elizabeth came home us and fits in just perfectly. She has begun mothering the two ducklings, stands up to the dogs and cats like a goose and will, I believe, soon overtake the Chihuahua as Queen Bee around these parts. We favor the underdog, so this is a good thing.
Incidentally, on the subject of Chihuahuas, we learned the other day that Chihuahuas are not actually descended from dogs at all, but are distant cousins of the fox. The desert fox, I assume. This makes perfect sense, as anyone who has ever hung out with a Chihuahua for any time will surely verify – Chihuahuas are not dogs. Not at all.
Take now for example. I am alone – J has taken the children into town on the bike to run some errands, pick up a new bike inner-tube for me and have a Dad-Kid adventure. The dogs – the two dogs – Alfie and Lulu are at my feet. They are both lying on their left side, Lulu looks up to check I am there occasionally, then lays her head back down, Alfie moves only to scratch, or to lick his used-to-be balls.
Honey, the Chihuahua, is nowhere to be seen. She vanished as soon as the dog treat received for not running after the bike and trailer was finished. She will remain, cowering, in hiding, until Z’s return. She is a one-person rat – ahem – fox – ahem – Chihuahua.
Our new friend, Elizabeth, is a true Queen. That was my point. The Queen is a duck.
And the sweet beauty of life at Pirate Camp can be summarized by a few key sense-impressions, moments for me that will forever characterize this feeling of right now:
Walking down the path to camp from the garden through waist-long grass and clouds of tiny, blue butterflies;
Planting seeds (greens, beets, carrots, tomatoes, pumpkin, squash, beans – more to follow) while my children play together inquisitively and sweetly on the porch, with books and sticks and leaves and the breeze;
Cooking sausages on sticks around a camp-fire with my life’s loves;
And That Moon.
[…]As a short postscript, I have just returned from picking J and the children up from town. It would seem that a bike trailer, two kids, an enormous load of grocery supplies, heat and several hills do not go that well together – even when your husband is a super-hero. Thank goodness for the ability to borrow a truck from time to time, I suppose. Now to get manifesting that horse and cart.
The Chihuahua was, incidentally, not hiding at all, but had scoffed her treat-for-not-running-after-the-bike-trailer, and then promptly upped it and ran two and a half miles after the bike trailer, catching up with it half way along its journey into town. That crazy rat-fox-dog.
When we got home, the duck was taking a rest on the couch. Pirate Life Rules.