I took down my last posting related to the V-word because I got hit with lots of spam-like substance. Way too much time deleting messages and not worth it - blegh! In more recent news, this weekend K and I took our dog Tebow, crammed a bunch of clothes and foodstuffs into our backpacks, and did a 2-night backpack trip up to Lake Waptus. If you're wondering what that is, it's a great big shimmering alpine lake nestled in a crevice of the Cascade mountains. Getting there requires a 10-mile hike into ruggedness, which is the max I can do without getting seriously cranky. That's one of the reasons why it costs half your paycheck to live in Seattle: you can get to the middle of nowhere, or what feels like it anyway, in hardly anytime at all. Strange that we put such a premium on being able to get away from our own lives.
I actually have a love-hate relationship with camping out in the wild. It's not the getting dirty or sleeping on hardened earth part that bothers me; it's the fact that once you're out there, there are no distractions, no gadgetry, no laptops to flip open and stare at. You're left with just your own thoughts, the bare relationship of whatever other humans/dogs are with you, if anyone, and the great big silent earth surrounding you. At times, it makes me feel lonely and vulnerable.
This was our first real-out-in-the-wilderness experience since Zach's birth/death in August 2007. Staring up at the black starry sky through the tall pine trees, I felt some waves of...well...sadness hit me briefly in the stomach and then continue along their merry way. It's strange, the human mind. Why feel melancholy, right then and there, in such beautiful surroundings? Perhaps it was the silence, the nature, the aforementioned feeling of having nothing to distract me from that emotion? Perhaps it was Kevin's summer-boy smell, salty with residual deodorant, that always makes me think of what our own son would smell like after football practice? Perhaps because I just imagine our baby up there in the sky, drifting around and looking down at us?
Probably embarrassed to have parents that hadn't showered in like three days and had bugs in their hair, which we did. Probably up there with all the other miscarried and stillborn and other "short bus" kids in the schoolyard of heaven, assuring them that those homeless-looking people down there sh*tting in the woods weren't actually weren't his parents.