The other night MLA and I decided to take a walk just after midnight. It was still quite warm out, even at that hour, plus there was a full moon. On top of all that the insects were in full symphony: incredibly loud & proud.
All three of these facts hit our senses like punches thrown to the mid-section, taking your breath away: 1-2-3.
The heat hit us first. So hot and humid you felt like you were wading into a thick, wet, invisible cloud that presses in on you from all sides. A slight sheen of sweat immediately covers most of your body. The heat is at first oppressive and then you start to feel a part of the night, no longer an outsider looking in.
The sound of the crickets and other insects is the second punch to the gut. How can it be so loud? It attacks your sense of hearing until all other senses are blocked. Louder & louder, the unorganized sound of a million voices; actually a million chirps/squeaks/growls/croaks would be more accurate. Loud enough to force you to raise your voice when you try to talk.
Louder still as you try to identify individual sounds among the frenzy: the sounds of flirting, of searching for food, of attracting mates, of showing off, of other animals reacting to the chirps to help find a meal. What a bummer, expecting romance only to end up as a 'blue plate special' for another animal.
All the sounds of a pitch black forest at night. With a tempo that weakens slightly only to reverberate louder then ever in the next few seconds. Nothing seems to interrupt the incessant chatter of life, of living and of death.
And then you realize it is not a pitch dark forest at night; at least not all of the forest is pitch black. In between the vast areas of pitch black are scatted patches that have bright areas illuminated by the full moon, like focused beams of light from a giant flashlight.
In fact the flashlight we brought with us is useless in these circles of moonlight. Turning on the flashlight changes the hue of the light but can't make it any brighter than what the moon has already accomplished without trying.
Even after midnight the park is still alive with human activity. Small circles of friends surround campfires and the sounds of people's laughter occasionally rise above the insect symphony. Only rarely do we pass other couples out walking their dog; the dogs having no problem seeing and smelling eath other in the dark.
Another beautiful gift for us here on earth. One that we could have easily missed had we not ventured outdoors. One that most of us do not experience normally as we stay carefully locked up in the comfort and security of our RV's/homes. Enjoying the coolness of the air conditioning, the convenience of food and drink nearby, the security of being surrounded by our stuff, even the greatly reduced stuff that fits in an RV provides this sense of wellness. That all is right with the world. Safely protected from all the bad things we hear about on TV or read about in the newspapers.
Is there really more crime today that 20 years ago? Or more children abused or mistreated? Or have we, in this age of instant gratification, provided the digital network capable of capturing and reporting on almost every event as it happens?
The answer my friend, is blowing in the wind... And to find it you have to get out and explore the night and the day and the sunrise and the sunsets and the sun, and the rain and the lightning and.... well you just have to get out and explore -- wherever you are and whatever is going on, take some time to do something you've never done before.
Our son Scott gave MLA a digital picture frame that I loaded with ~500 photo's from our first 3 month long trip in the RV. Over and over again I'm amazed at the places we've seen and more importantly, the things we've done. And I wonder, how much more of this we could have done even before we retired. The answer to that question is obvious and a little chastising: we could have been doing more living all along.
I hope you are doing all the living you can right now, where ever you are, and not waiting until 'a better time'. We will never go back.
Until next time.... See Ya!
Posted by Dale, Mary Lynn & Dobbie at 9:58 PM
2nd Trip: June 2008 through November 2008
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1st Trip -- February 2008 Through April 2008
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Maryland to Arizona to Prince Rupert, BC
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