Betty Duffy

Monday, October 4, 2010

I'm So Alone!

If this past summer was my season of sloth, Fall is the season when necessity drags me around like a thumb-sucker’s dirty, worn-out blanket. I plan things for the Fall. I count on Fall. Fall is the time to do things because the climate levels out, and one is doing things (like school) already, so one might as well do more things, like go camping, and have company.

Over the past two weekends, our family has communed with nature, leaving me absolutely positive that in spite of my Amish mood lately, civilization works for me. I love camping, and we went with my husband’s brothers, who are a blast—we even stayed in a cabin instead of a tent. But I always underestimate the work quotient of such things.

It’s the packing, the planning, the labor of constant movement, rigorous hikes and lugging of toddlers that leaves me by weekend’s close, feeling a bit like a raisin. There’s not enough water, not enough sleep, too much smoke and moonshine. And it was worth it, of course, coming home constipated, dehydrated, and exhausted.

I spent the school week recovering—which was no recovery at all—stepping over sleeping bags and pillows, the cooler still full of soda and melted ice, and when another weekend rolled around, I was glad I had not bothered to unpack anything because we were heading out again, this time staying at my parents’ house while they’re away, taking care of the livestock, and having friends in for the weekend.

Sunday evening, when my husband took the kids home, and I stuck around to clean up, I had the realization that I had not spent a moment alone in over three weeks. While we were camping, my husband and I heard a tree fall down in the woods, raising the obvious allusion, “If a tree falls in the forest and no one is there to hear it—did it really fall?”

Sunday evening, I put out a bale of hay and the cows and horses approached to eat it, and I stood there among their shaggy coats and dripping chins feeling like the tree in the woods. Is this really happening? Am I really the only human being in the vicinity? The cows looked at me dumbly, acknowledging my presence, at least. And now I’m writing it down as a memorandum: I accomplished being alone at 4 pm on October 3, 2010, and I enjoyed it.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...'re deleting all your comments, then?

Sshhh, I'm tip-toeing away already.