It’s not all rainbows and kittens, or is it?
I’m as fierce as they come. Strong, weak, healthy, or ill, none of these things matter so much as what my heart contains.
I’ve been skydiving. I’ve trudged through long, dark Alaskan winters, carrying shotguns through brown bear territory. I’ve braved new relationships and the ends of them. I’ve faced cancer and I’ve battled depression. I’m courageous and adventurous.
But really, it’s not like I’m brave exactly. I don’t feel brave most days. I’m as fragile and timid as you could imagine, most of the time, not even bothering to pretend I’m brave.
I dislocated my toe a couple of weeks ago, and I thought it was the end of the world. I cried. I worried I’d never walk normal again. Which, finally, I kind of am. But, still, now, I’m scared to run on the beach again. I feel like my toes, my limbs, are all just flags, hanging in the wind waiting to be torn to pieces. Totally ridiculous thoughts consume me at times, and I’m silly enough to mostly believe them.
We went on a fantastic hike a couple of days ago. There are these huge mountains, the Sierra de la Giganta Mountains, right behind us. We’ve been camping on a small beach just south of Loreto, BCS, nestled between the Sea of Cortez and these towering mountains. I’d tell you where it is, but it’s a secret. If you really want to know, just ask though, I’m nice like that. A few days ago these super cool guys that have been camping on this beach for years, like 10-plus years, introduced themselves to us and instantly became our ambassadors for the area. They spent time circling secret spots on our map that we can camp at for free, showed us where to get fresh water, take showers, do laundry, even went to the store for us and brought us back beer, lent us books on marine fishes and cetaceans of the Sea of Cortez, and a couple of days ago, Miguel took us on a hike up Tabor Canyon, straight up the arroyo. We found waterfalls, plunge pools, swimming holes, bedrock canyons, palm trees, views of the sea…. It was as stunning as the canyons around Santiago, so incredible and fresh. It rained recently and the desert is a brilliant green. We really are lucky to be here right now.
But guess what? The hike was terrifying! If only it were all summits and sunrises that make Instagram so fun, right? Truth is, life is gritty, and I don’t always have the snapshots of me sweating and crying and fearing for my life before I make it to the top. There were a few places up the canyon (you realize were just hiking straight up a huge river, right?) that I felt like we were scaling sheer rock cliffs. There was a section that we had to crawl under a boulder and climb up a rope, tip-toeing across a piece of wood and out the top. I made it, but then I worried for the rest of the day, how the hell was I going to get down that shit?? Well, when I finally did make it down, I got a high-five from Michael and he’s all “Sweet, you didn’t throw up or cry!”. LOL. Because the truth is, that’s so often the reality. So, our sweet new friend is always going to remember me by that line. Impressed that I didn’t even throw up or cry. Thanks to my boyfriend for always keeping it real, helping me show my truest self.
If it were lush and rich, one could understand the pull, but it is fierce and hostile and sullen. The stone mountains pile up to the sky and there is little fresh water. But we know we must go back if we live, and we don’t know why. -Steinbeck, Log from the Sea of Cortez