Yachats sure has a way of making it spicy. And moody. And other-worldly. And not symbiotic. Maybe that’s why my phone said No SIM. I wonder if this happens to other people when they come here. Maybe it’s Nature’s way of gaining your full attention by pulling you away from people and gadgets and spilling you out in a place like Fern Canyon, where you can be alone with your thoughts.
You shouldn’t walk dogs in Fern Canyon. You should walk your pet Triceratops. My head was on a swivel as I looked left and right at the ferns in their stadium-style seating, with Douglas Firs towering over them in the standing room only section, where they belong. I peeled my eyes away long enough to spy my feet (not hard to do) as they balanced on planks that eased my crossing of the rocky creek. This place must roar in a storm. Trees were strewn about like drunken giants who fell asleep where they dropped their glass.
It’s the perfect playground for the American Dipper, a small bird that doesn’t resemble a waterfowl, yet walks along the bottom of a stream to search for food. I became entranced by its continuous bobbing, or dipping, while it paused. Like a twitch. I imagined myself having a movement like that, one which I did reflexively. I would think I’d find it quite taxing, like the hiccups. I despise the hiccups. They actually make me angry. I haven’t had them in months…I wonder how I would react now. (As an aside, my in-process transformation has also resulted in going cold turkey off melatonin. I used to take it every night to fall asleep. I haven’t take it since the Pocket Call.) Mr. Jackpot thought it probably felt good to the bird to curtsy every few moments while standing still. That would make sense, given the near perfection of the animal kingdom.
We spent most of our time at Fern Canyon with some physical distance between us. Except for when we watched the Mom Dipper try to find her toddler among the trees laying across the water. How she could call like that with a fat worm hanging from her mouth I will never understand. The toddler wouldn’t budge, as if he had learned the golden rule: If we become separated, you stay put. They finally reunited and, after some scolding, had their feast.
Upon entering a meadow we came together again, standing in the gentle rain with the sun eating its way through the cloud cover, to marvel at wildflowers and watch spider webs rock in the breeze like hammocks. He showed me how spiders pull two leaves together and create a shelter where they can remain dry. You know there is a massive shift going on inside of me when I am nosing into bushes seeking out arachnids and peering into their dwellings. I sure hope my transformation doesn’t mirror that of Gregor Samsa in The Metamorphosis. I’d like to remain in human form, please. I have a lot to tend to and needed to start on it as soon as I digested the fact that The Genius had read HGM.
I needed salt air. On the deck, about 20 minutes after I received the email from The Genius, I breathed deep and settled my gaze on the foam coating the surf. I couldn’t see the bubbles popping, but I knew that’s what was happening. Thousands at a time. They were born out of a crashing wave, thrust towards shore and once on the sand they burst. But they didn’t vanish or die. They just changed shape. It settled me down.
In the last 50-ish hours I witnessed the eclipse, climbed a 500 year old madrone tree, leaned against redwoods that made me feel like a Chihuahua, walked through prehistoric times, perched on black lava, daring the sea to take me, had my SIM card die a few hours after it was suggested that such an event would be required in order to effectively dispose of my body, watched the interpersonal fun meter on our holiday flat-line, and found out The Genius was reading HGM.
I let all that I had experienced in the last few days roll through my center. I was not stoked to see what was happening. I was STILL trying to analyze (so I could then control?) the behavior of The Genius or Mr. Jackpot instead of looking at why I created these situations. And not in a woe is me, why did I create this way, but with genuine enthusiasm and curiosity as to why I created them. I was wasting time.
It didn’t matter that The Genius read HGM. Clearly he wasn’t happy about it, but that’s his emotion, not mine. Mr. Jackpot is stressed. We don’t know each other well. Maybe this is how he deals with it. It’s not for me to judge. (It is, however an excellent time for me to establish a boundary. Next time I will.) And Mother Nature is pushing that all aside and saying, spend time alone with me and all of it will start to make sense.
I trust her.
As I pulled myself back from thinking of others, I chose to spend my time being grateful. Grateful for my life, my children, for those that care about me. Grateful for my love of writing, my love of nature, my enthusiasm for hiking and risk-taking adventures. My whole body relaxed. I felt safe. I felt protected by the universe. And I felt happiness. Then I started to see my creations and catch glimpses of why I birthed them.
I saw this: You need to remain aligned with your true self, find balance between looking inward and living outward, and stay grounded in the midst of a sea of swift currents. These situations are going to allow you to develop your abilities to pull that off. Stay in them. Don’t shrink away. Don’t fight it. Don’t try to fix it. Just experience it.
I let that guidance bear hug me. I got on bended knee and popped the question. I wanted naturally and effortlessly to exist like that for the rest of my life. And it would start now. No matter what comes down the pike today, tomorrow or the next day, I choose to remain in sway. Open, present, and aware, but steadfast in my guardianship of myself.
Good thing I got to that point on my foam meditation, because my trip to Yachats was about to come to an abrupt end. Thankfully I survived the drive home.