Christmas

I don’t like Christmas. I had first intended an entire entry about the reasons why. This really is just hashing out stupid things that really don’t matter. Not in the grand scheme of things. All they are now are little scars that tug when I turn just the wrong way. So I decided to write about what I did for Christmas.

Excluding last year I had started a tradition of going hiking on Christmas. Being that I am back in Oklahoma this makes it a lot easier since it’s rarely dangerously cold on Christmas. By afternoon it was actually in the 60s so I ventured out, that morning. This year I took two of my three dogs with me. The third one is old, has too much hair, and just is not quality hiking company. One of the three is an excellent hiking companion, and the third one is turning out to be a good hiking company.

We started out at some smaller trails closer to the house. It just was not feeling right for me. The more I walked on these trails the more I was frustrated.  So I went just off the trails where there is a large field I like to harvest wild edibles from. I let the two dogs loose there and let them run and play for a while.

Wasn’t too much later that I loaded them up in the car and we decided to go to the lake. I passed one of the entrance to the park at the lake and decided to push on. This was until I started driving over the bridge that crosses the lake. The water was low on the lake and a peninsula had been exposed that went way way WAY out into the water. I turned around at the next available place and went back to the entrance that I had passed. We parked. It was just me and three guys fishing.

So the dogs and I went hiking around the bank. It was a lot further than I previously had thought but was fun, excluding the harsh wind blowing on us the entire time but you get use to it after a while.

About a quarter of the way up the peninsula I released the dogs. They took off. They ran and played and had a great time. It brought a much needed smile to my face. Oklahoma is just not a dog friendly state. Not like Kansas City, MO. So I’ve really missed just being able to go out like that with the dogs. I also had another realization while I was walking.

I’ve missed that alone time in nature. Being so ensconced in an urban environment for two years has chipped away at me. I can live in them but I have to have regular time in nature. It soothes so much of me. The insane part of my mind feels at home in nature. I also learned another part of me.

I desperately wish to be by the ocean. All of my major vacations have taken me to different locations of salt water. I miss that smell, the roar, the taste of the air, all of it so desperately has become a part of me that I’ve pushed down…. These realization caused a hollow sadness in my being. Deep echoing dark chasm of cool quiet sorrow. The kind that aches but that doesn’t ruin your day.

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Here are my two hiking companions. The one in the shirt is Vario, I’ve had him since he was 7 months old (he is 7 years old now) and he has been a long time hiking companion of mine. The other is Ink. I’ve had Ink since he was 6 weeks old (he is 3 now) and he is turning out to be a great hiking companion. Vario climbed up there on his own. Ink was uncertain so I assisted him up. That drift wood was chest high on me.

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Ink is a terrier mix and does have a fairly high prey drive. He thought the driftwood out there was an animal. Now he does also have a good recall when I yell but I let him go after that. While I’ve taught Vario (and Conner who was at home being fed croissants and dog cookies by two little girls) how to swim I have not gotten around yet to teach Ink how to swim. So he went running out there after that driftwood and then freaked out and stopped when the water was up to his neck. Vario was very angry at him and went swimming out to him right after this photo and nipped at him. It was funny and I laughed very hard.

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Here we are at the very end. Goal accomplished. Slow deep breath… This is a view looking back at how far we had gone. It felt good to be out there. Peaceful. Relaxing. Let that breath go very slowly. This was a place to listen to the beat of the world’s pulse away from the noise that people create. Away from the chaos that is “modern living.” This was me. This was that satisfying alone time with me and Nature.

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Two pieces of driftwood I took pictures of on the walk back.

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The dogs playing in the nastier mucky water along the bank. They were so dirty and smelly when we got home. I should have taken off Vario’s shirt but he really didn’t want it off and they were playing so hard that he stayed warm. The horrendous wind also dried both of them off very quickly over and over again.

I also have this obsession of taking pictures of dead things. We found the skeleton of a HUGE catfish and the carcass of a raccoon that a hunter had obviously split open and took all the organs and meat. It was far to clean to be an animal. So I snapped photos of those but I won’t be sharing those on here.

All and all it was exactly what I was needing. It made me more stable for the emotionally taxing issues I would have to deal with when I got home. It was several hours well spent.

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Christmas

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