This was the case yesterday and this morning, as another glorious sunrise gifted us, I thought… just because night came upon us it does not mean the day has to be over! It just took a little break. The fire was still hot in the ring, another log and we will just continue on this path of no obstructions. Everyone is now gone, the wind howling is my only visitor. Even Spirit is into his nap of the day from much excitement and running free for my buddy! He has been off the leash now for a complete few days, company was of many, a drive to the most incredible swimming hole, I never loose sight of him and he never looses sight of me neither.
This Christmas Tradition will just have to be repeated for every winter that we spend here. After all, that is the definition of “Tradition”. Travelers from the road, Mark and Bobbie, joined us in the early morning yesterday and set up pretty quickly to spend the night here. They are both wonderful Human Beings, on the path of their own Dream exploring Mother Nature with all of their own senses and seeking their own answers to their path taken. They left too soon this morning, and so I know that we will continue our conversations at a later date when our paths crosses again. Paul and Voni, Kathy and Rob, my neighbor John, all arrived seemingly hungry for the first round of rock soup and bread. I managed to add this bit of very special flavor to the soup by… scorching it “mildly”, I repeat “mildly”, in the early hours with of course a layer of coals a bit too hot. Some where polite and expressed they could not taste anything of that sort… I smiles! and some where truthful but liked it a lot and actually right now the left overs are in Alpine. It was then time for our rock hunting.
I thought we were going as I said “rock hunting”. It turns out that Rob had brought his wheel barrel, tarp for the bed of his truck and many cardboard boxes! This was more than rock hunting as I watched everyone seeking for the most beautiful ones gathering them for “The Oasis”. I stood there for a bit, a little lost, wondering why? what did I do to deserve these such kind moments, watching, feeling, and thinking how beautiful the scene was and how beautiful these people are to be here, having taken the time, spend the efforts and the thoughts to do this for us. I mean, just for us… What “present” this has been! The wood… the rocks… the company… No blue light special here, only “very special” Friends in this aisle of our present Life.
Our fire ring is continuing and will continue to expand and take a Life of its own. Each rock hand picked for its color and shape, colors that jump out at one’s sight when wet and I cannot wait for the first rain to meet them again and witness their true colors Mother Nature has given them. It was close to 80 degrees unloading them all as suddenly I was showered with snow balls Kathy and Rob had brought from Alpine where it had snowed the day before! “Welcome to the Oasis” they all then in unison shouted. Cartier… Gucci… Rolex… you have nothing to offer me that can even remotely compare to this. Merry Christmas Spirit… use those rocks wisely!!!
This is my new buddy… “Sweet Heidi” as I call her. She was on loan with Paul and Voni. Poor Spirit, rambunctious, young and wanting to play with her to no avail. Heidi is 14, look at that face… I just love dogs, I love to figure out their temperaments, their kindness as her’s and witness how quickly my buddy gets jealous coming in between her and I… But are they really dogs or? I think we can re-write dog’s definition.
Kathy then on talked us into driving a bit further to a swimming hole, and so we did. Another swimming hole I thought by it’s looks, a beautiful approach but not showing any signs of what was hiding behind those rocks.
Another incredible surprise. I almost dropped my camera and my heart beat fought hard to stay under control. This was not possible. You can barely see the ripples in the bed rock of the creek, it was the very wrong time of the day to take photos and show off their contrasts, and yet after months and months of feeling the wonders we came across this as another icing on the cake.
Smooth as glass the surface of the rocks revealed a delicate seat under cover, shelves protruding in the daylight waiting to be honed by the next flash flood. A natural awning arched, curved to perfection, the core of this earth showing its beauty after these millions of year of natural erosion within this Gallery not for the taking but only to experience so fully. Speechless, only expressing unclear sounds such as “wow”, Spirit and I adventured ourselves not able to take my eyes off from every square inch laying in front of us. I was finally discovering my backyard! What took us so long? Good things take time they say…
The smile on Voni’s face was everyone’s smile. We could only hear each other call each other! “come here… come here… look… look” as if we could be everywhere at the same time, as we wanted to but could not. Silly us… we just did not want each other to miss what each of us saw, if that makes any sense… just as kids with their Friends in a toy store around Christmas time! We had to eventually turn around and as I realized we are only a few miles away, there is no doubt that Spirit and I, I think everyone, will be back for more, us camping for sure catching the sunrises and sunset lights slowly and delicately painting these rock surfaces.
Back to “The Oasis” for another round of soup and bread in which we put in a serious dent. Dessert had been baking while we were gone. An old camping dessert kids and grown up love and very quickly realized that one per person was really not enough… next time will double! No brain surgery here… banana surgery with chocolate chips first and small marshmallows as their melted and caramelized sugar with seal the chocolate in. There is a proper way to this madness! Wrapped with foil and near some coals for a couple hours or more. Not too hot… not too close. Spoon and paper plate needed and… to only make it better and fun testing everyone’s dexterity pass on a can of whipped cream!
There was suddenly quiet around… too quiet! Food makes people quiet and it was the general consensus that the dessert was excellent, but, you will not find this on the Ritz Carlton’s Grill Menu! I hope you have a chance to make it also soon, same with the soup. Only make sure you put the ladle away and up, specially as if like me you have your buddy quietly, very quietly making his rounds. Guilty only till proven… will let the photo decide! The eyes maybe? It is a giveaway. I say… “guilty”!
Photo courtesy of Voni Glaves. My favorite picture of the day! “Oups…I am caught… get that tongue back in!”
The day was winding down, the fire was glowing, the same fire that cooked our meal, the same fire that kept us warm in the morning and evening keeping company with all of us throughout our conversations. What a perfect day, what perfect moments as I thought how far along we have gone into this Journey of ours since we have left Georgia 24 months ago. I still remember my wonderful landlord truly liking us so much and offering to keep the house furnished with our belongings rent free for six months while we traveled, and as he said “get it out of your system”! I knew there was not going to be any turning back… The Journey is barely beginning, our path is cut, rocky and smooth as it will be ahead, its richness can only enhance our Life and hopefully in my humble hopes other’s also.
Till next time…
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Be well, always. Ara & Spirit