I went to the farm with some divas that need good coffee and don’t own hiking shoes. They know I call them divas because I tell them to their faces, I tell them they’re drama. But I love them because they join me on adventures and are up for trying new things even though it might be a little rough.
Well not that rough. We decided to stay on the farm but instead of setting up a tent and rolling out a sleeping bag like most outdoorsy people might, we paid to have someone else do it for us and place beds with blankets and sheets inside, cover the floor with multi colored rugs and set up an outdoor table with pillows to sit on. It was all very glamorous out there in nature, until…we saw the gap. There was a 4-inch gap between the bottom of the tent wall and the wood planked entrance (yes it had rolled out wood planks like a porch, stop it). The gap was just the right size for, I don’t know, SNAKES or RATS! As we began to ponder all the potential critters that might join us in the evening we began to squeal like little girls and lift up our feet onto our six-inch elevated beds where we would obviously be out of reach of the potential rattler. Nature suddenly went from charming and adventurous to terrifying and unknown and sure to take our lives by the end of the night.
I tried my best to be the strong one who could handle wild life, so I kept my mouth shut in an effort to deescalate the rapidly increasing emotional mania. I was keeping it cool.
Then we went to bed. I lay there recollecting a snake story I once heard about the little reptile finding its way into someone’s bed and coiling up in between his legs. I hate the person who told me that story; I will always have to live with its taunting potential. I laid there listening for a rattler noise ready at any moment for it to raise its diamond shaped head up from next to my bed and hiss at me before it bites me in the face. I’ll probably need face reconstruction surgery if I survive, I probably won’t even look the same. My poor face, I’m so sad to have to have it ruined, good thing I live in Orange County they have lots of good plastic surgeons there. We don’t have very good cell service, might be hard to get the ambulance out here.
Then the tent rustles and with my blind eyes all I can see is formerly charming shadow of apple blossoms cast by the moon that is definitely a large animal not a shadow. Glasses on, no it’s fine, still a tree. I’ll just sleep with my glasses on my face, that’s a totally normal thing to do. Not comfortable but it’s important for my survival that I do it.
Why are my legs itching, oh yes, it’s clearly a black widow biting me, definitely 10 maybe 20 spiders in my bed. A quick sweep with my hand around the bed to be sure nothing is inside ready to lay eggs and cozy up with me for the night. I guess I just need to wrap myself up in my sheets like a burrito - that will keep them out. Do it real fast, tuck all the edges…ok it’s fine.
Good there’s a pack of coyotes howling, pretty far away though…nope they’re definitely right outside out tent probably picking up the scent of their next prey. They will break through the thin canvas, they travel in packs right? We’ll probably all die. Our poor families. Do I think they’ll be deterred by my pepper spray, potentially, it could save our lives. Ok sleeping with pepper spray in my hand. Dammit this is it, “God please forgive me and please let me into heaven, I’m headed there tonight.” Maybe I should call Trever to tell him I love him.
Bats! I hate bats. They’re flying rats. Someone once told me they get caught up in girl’s hair when it’s long. I’ll put my hood on; don’t want any bats in my hair giving me rabies.
Speaking of bats, RATS…
And there it is. Moved momentarily out of my irrational fear I see myself - cocooned in my sheets tight up to my tense shoulder my hood tied around my face so that the only thing exposed is my nose and mouth, eyes wide with glasses on and smushed against my face, a hand tightly clutched to the pink pepper spray attached to my keys…I am not keeping it cool.
I talked myself down and begged for sleep to come and rescue me from myself, and it finally did right before the rooster so kindly informed us it was morning. We woke to a critter free tent and walked outside to the most beautiful view of orchards and golden hills. The scary nature monster turned out to just be a shadow cast in the darkness by the exquisite beauty and diversity of the great outdoors.
“Brooke, how did you sleep last night?”
“Great!!! I love nature, I might need a nap later but it’s cool. You guys are total divas.”