After my first night's visit from Little Mouse, I got wise and put any foodstuff I may have into a bag, which I then hung from a vertical rope that was tied in the middle of a horizontal rope. The only way any little critters would be able to get to it would be by tightrope walking. Ha! Outwitted them!
But even with no food on the ground cloth next to me, Little Mouse came for a visit during my second night out. Before falling asleep, I heard his tiny footsteps on the plastic of my ground cloth. But, just like with his first visit, when I switched on my headlamp and turned to look, he was already gone. I can imagine that you are thinking, "Carol, are you sure you're not just hearing things???" Well, I don't think so. But maybe. Read further and you be the judge of whether or not the desert, combined with lack of calories and lack of human interaction got to my brain or not.
I really wanted to see Little Mouse so, barely breathing, I waited, headlamp at the ready, in case my invisible friend might return. But once again, sleep overcame me and I will never know whether my friend stayed away or if he brought his friends and family to party all around me as I snored the night away.
After my morning rituals, prayers, etc., I made smudge sticks from sage that I had picked the day before. On this morning, when I visited the buddy circle, I put two of the smudge sticks into the buddy circle as gifts for my buddies, then I headed out on a long walk with my dad.
We headed east on a road for 4 wheel drive vehicles. At one point, the road was nearly vertical. Then we were on top of the world. We could see for miles and miles (isn't there a song about this? WHO can see for miles and miles?) We saw shadowy canyons way out in the distance, and I would have loved to have walked to them, but we never even got close.
I don't know how long it had been since anyone had been on this road.
Did anyone ever walk it? Or do people only see this land from the
inside of a Jeep? There were no footprints at all.
As we walked under clear skies and with absolutely no evidence to prove that we were not the only people on earth, Dad and I talked about our lives and about how my years in the cult affected him, the family, and me. This was the first time this elephant had ever been acknowledged. We talked of hard things and of sweet memories. You may not have seen nor heard my dad as he and I walked and talked, but that doesn't mean it didn't happen. And it was very healing for me - I hope it was for him, too.
Because it was springtime, desert flowers bloomed in various areas. Most likely, Dad and I would be the only people to ever set eyes on the little bush covered with tiny yellow blooms and the white flowers which looked like they were made of crepe paper. Think of all of the flowers that bloom without ever being seen and of all the birds that sing without being heard.
And all of the conversations that never happen because someone is too scared.
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