A third close encounter with deer: my first solo camp

August 16, 2016 ~ Tuesday

10:05a I woke to the sound of walking, of foot-falling near my tent. At first I assumed my neighbor was heading to the nearby restroom. My next thought was that it would be wise to make sure that’s all it was. It wasn’t.

There were two deer walking behind my tent! I saw one, and then the second. They made their way slowly through the campsite, and I am certain they were aware of my presence. The front runner took a little leap over the brush to make her departure. It was serene.

This is a third close encounter with deer in the last week. The first we saw on our hike at Bowl & Pitcher. She let me get a close photo, looking right into my face, and it felt like we connected.

I read a bit about deer. I recall her main message to be gentleness and innocence. I think I made her my new profile picture.

The second we saw in the neighborhood my last night in Spokane. So strange to see a deer just walking across the street and into someone’s yard. Edward caught sight of both of these, and now I took special note of the second. I was careful to be gentle with Edward on our last night, after all the anger that had poured forth the previous couple of days.

Now a third sighting, my own, and so very close. I wonder what deer has to tell me? I am open to her message.

My daily gratitude:
1- I am grateful for my healthy body that allows me to go where I want to go and do what I want to do.
2- I am grateful for the fearless spirit within me that enables me to take these leaps of faith.
3- I am grateful for the tent I have, where I am safe and comfortable as I journey.
4- I am grateful for the money I have saved, as it gives me time to clear my head and figure out what I want to do next.
5- I am grateful for the quiet peace of this place, nourishing, healing and strengthening me.
6- I am grateful to have plenty of of water and firewood to last me while I am here. I want for little. Actually, in this very moment, I want for nothing.
7- I am grateful for the blue sky and the warm sun and the shade from the tall, slender trees.
8- I am grateful for the website that led me to this place, where I have all I need to do what I need to do – clear my head.
9- I am grateful for my ball cap, which feels like a trusted companion. It shelters me.
10- I am grateful for every emotion, even the difficult ones, like anger. I don’t know why, but I felt led to say that. Maybe I will discover why.

12:30-ish Nearly 24 hours after my departure, and I have finally stopped shaking with rage. I am getting a short shopping list together, trying to decide when I want to make the trip into the nearby little town. I would also like to see if I can find a trail map for this park. I went out earlier and followed what was marked as a loop, but it branched in two directions, and I was curious about the outbound. How far did it go? Did it eventually loop back around? I decided not to pursue it, as the growth was thickening and I was just in shorts. I am already fairly scratched up.

The word I am hearing is ALLOW. There is nothing for me to accomplish. I can just ALLOW life to happen here, and just observe.

4:30-ish I really feel the passing of time here. There is no endless chatter, none of the usual entertainments, no duties diluting my time. I am reduced to eating, walking, using the bathroom, and sleeping. Will it be wonderful like this always, or will I grow bored?

I need to take care of a couple of things in town tomorrow, so I can stay relaxed for my time here. I need to find and schedule the victim’s panel I am required to take, and I need to order/schedule my recalibration. I need to have Gary send the eval to the probation officer, and I need to confirm my next payment with her. I need to figure out what to do with Justice while I take care of business. And I need to verify the weather forecast, as I did not tie on my rainfly.

Cycles are already obvious to me here. The sun sets behind the mountain in the evening. It gets cool with the setting sun. The bees and flies no longer bother, but the mosquitoes make their appearance. I will start a fire and have dinner. Night is dark, even with fire, so there is little that can be done, save for watch the flames and listen to the grounds.

I did some reading last night until I could no longer make out the text on the pages. Then I just enjoyed staring at the fire. I had beer last night. I have none tonight. I would be furious with myself if I spent this precious time drinking. After all, that is half the point.

I thought I would be doing more thinking, but I find my brain is mostly numb. It’s still hard to believe I am actually out here, that I actually did it, that I just snapped and left like that and left all the responsibility where it belongs – shared with those who committed to help but fell far short and left me bearing the bulk of the burden.

When will I smile? This is all so painful, but here I am. I should smile. I am co-creating life, and I can have whatever I want. There is nothing remaining to hold me back. I should be smiling.

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