When I was cleaning, I came across a slate grey rock with flecks of red almost in the shape of a heart. There were indentions on one side that made it look like a wolf’s face. The thing about this rock is that I don’t recall picking it up at all. The origins of the stone are mysterious. It feels smooth like it’s been in a creek. But I cannot remember picking it up. Maybe a fairy hid it there or an elf. Was it the Spirit Wolf himself?
When I hold it, I recall a fall day two years ago, as the fallen hickory leaves danced around a laughing wolf, there for a moment and then gone. I feel the wind tugging at my hair and how it feels to run down a mountain road. I can smell the mast again and the mild scent of over-ripe Muscadines. I can hear the Whippoorwills calling and see the sunlight slanting through the ancient hickory trees.
In honor of these memories, I set up a tent in my yard. I left the dogs inside so they could enjoy their beds, while I slept on an old air mattress surrounded by the sound of traffic and coyotes, and house cats brawling. When I slept, I slept, but when the air seeped out of the mattress, I woke again. My goal was to leave Polly outside the tent, but she tried to climb it, then she wanted out, then she wanted in again. She ended up sleeping on my chest, head pointed at the tent flap, in case we had intruders.
It was not like sleeping in the mountains but it was a great reminder of how it felt to sleep on the ground. Writing this beneath lantern light is quite fun. It makes me wonder if, with my love and knowledge of the woods, I should get a degree that would allow me a job in a field I don’t despise? If I can get paid to do something I enjoy, it would be a great thing to wake up for in the morning.
Worry not, my friends, I plan to stick to the writing degree and complete it, no matter what! I will write and go find out what I need to get a job I will not stress over.