9-2 Accepting myself, society in camping, ice cream rescue, Cumberland stinky
Land Between the Lakes
(Note: I’m back in Gainesville for a bit visiting family then it’s out west I go. I’m using this downtime as a chance to catch up on journal entries from my written notebook.)
In the nascent stages of a past relationship a great love of mine would, in spur of the moment, reveal a raw truth about her. She did this often - not to shock but to see if I’d run.
Her unvarnished rawness was a revelation to me because growing up deaf in a hearing world I used to hide behind insecurities and half-truths in my eternal quest for love and acceptance.
Walking through her fire showed me it was okay reveal myself in the full glory of who I am, owning my own truths and to be accepted for it.
Crossed paths with a pair of hikers going the opposite way on a trail and I warned them of a “big arse bear back there!” Their eyes pop out and they halt mid-stride with “Wait, what?!”
It never fails. I laugh and they laugh because there’s no bears in this area.
(And no, I don’t do this in areas where there are bears.)
I’ve noticed in dispersed or primitive camping area that campers of a like feather tend to congregate in reflection of American society.
Like here at Nickell Branch campground — those with older campers or car-camping are on the less developed side of the campground while on the other side there are the newer, more upscale campers/vehicles.
Most often it is in the former where folks are more welcoming and have stories to share, like a brotherhood of sorts. And these car-campers? They’re the bravest souls out there with their entire lives wrapped inside small metal.
I weave between all souls although my preference is amongst us more mere mortals.
Took a little trip further south on Land Between the Lakes to visit what’s called Homeplace, a working farm based on the 1850’s.
It was a wonderful step back in time to what it was really like in the area during that time.
Old mule barn at Homeplace in Land Between the Lakes
But most memorable was seeing a little girl drop her ice cream, splattering on the ground and over her legs. Eyes and mouth agape, she stared at the devastation below then melted into a wail of tears.
While dad cleaned her up and consoled her, I snuck over to the ice cream lady, bought a fresh new cone and quietly brought it over to her.
Tears halted, she stares, unsure what to do or what to make of it. Dad tells her it’s okay to accept and expresses profuse thanks. Happiness rescued, I nod with a smile and fade into the woods.
Seeing that little girl brought back memories of my own baby girl, Alyssa. She was an absolute delight at that age and brought so much joy into our lives.
She still does and our love for each other forever outlasts countless spilled ice creams.
When swimming in the Cumberland river here, I keep getting a noxious whiff of something odorous - almost chemically/chlorine-y smelling mixed in with a faint smell of dead fish.
My nose can’t quite pin down exactly what those smells stem from. I can see folks are clearly enjoying the waters here swimming, diving into it, etc. so it doesn’t seem to bother ’em.
Maybe it’s because my nose-sense is stronger due to the loss of hearing?
I do know the river here is a major commerce route what with all manner of tugboats pushing barges the length of football fields and tankers cruising by frequently.
Either way I won’t be swimming here again. When the nose wrinkles, I listen.
At sunset I love watching trees on the horizon ever so slowly darken as the sun sinks away opposite.
It’s like watching a huge orange-tinted spotlight crawl upwards, moving light away from the trees onto a coming moon.
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