Ever since I was a little girl, I have been fascinated by gypsy wagons pulled by big-footed horses and imagined myself sleeping in one, listening to my Clydesdale horse munching on the grass outside. In rainy Oregon last winter I longed for a little mouse hole where I could curl up with a big pillow, a warm quilt, and a favorite book. When the daffodils came up in March, Mr. Bill and I ordered a small 13' travel trailer called a Scamp, which seemed like a dream come true. At last! A cozy mouse hole for Mr. Bill and Ellen!
The white thing at the top of the photo is a nine foot canopy, which provided welcome shade when the temps rose above 95 degrees. The strange post looking thing in the middle of the door is actually the center of our little screen door, which folds like an accordion. In the photo above we are looking directly into the kitchen. The bed is to the left and the tiny bathroom, with toilet and shower is to the right. Sounds crazy but it all fits into thirteen feet! Of course, if we want to use our kitchen table and benches, we have to put the bed away and re-arrange the seat cushions and pull the table up. Here is our mouse hole (gypsy) bed:
So far we have not used our kitchen except to boil water for tea, preferring in the hot summer weather to set up our old camping kitchen on the picnic table, but since it rains a lot in Oregon, we know we will use it a lot in the winter.
When we camp, we gradually work our way into another world. A world of slow time. I usually take off my watch, which somehow stretches out the cool sweet mornings and extends the long evenings around the picnic table. This time, by lantern light with the river rushing noisily by and the crickets chirping, we played two games of "Volga Bulgars and Dravidian Pirates." (That's a board game for the uniniated.)
We read our Wallander mysteries. I embroidered and felt the sun through the forest canopy. I wrote in my journal. We rode our foldable commuter bikes all around the very spacious campground and scouted out places for some new stories for Paloma involving two pixie dolls, Henry and Heidi.
We spent time by the river's edge scouting out scenes and locations for the story forming in my imagination.
I was looking for pixie hidey holes where it looked as though a whole pixie village might reside. At first, I was attracted to these jumbled piles of enormous boulders along the river's edge. Then I spotted a much better place. What do you think?
It seemed quite possible that such a tree might shelter a pixie or two. The river was burbling over the rocks but everything else was so quiet. It was a contemplative quiet. The sort of quiet I can't find in the city--a quiet earth, a rushing river, the sound of a wind in the canopy...and moments that stretch and stretch and make you feel completely present and awake.
There was a lot of white water next to our campsite. All we had to do was walk up the tiniest little path to find it.
Up the hill and over the top to hear the happy and hysterical shrieks of the summer river rafters who seemed to come down the river every half hour or so. I love to hear people screaming for sheer excitement and happiness, and the thrill of being alive!
Occasionally they sounded as though they were sincerely alarmed, but soon passed out of sight.
I was not sure these guys would make it around a huge boulder without going into the water but they did. Followed by cheers of: "We're the MEN!! Yahoo!!"
So many thoughts I had while sitting at the picnic table embroidering another square for a quilt I am making.....of the grace of this world which speaks to us in so many ways, green pines against a blue sky, and the footprints of little birds on our breakfast table.
And then the light fades away so slowly and gently at the end of day. We climb into our cozy bed in our very own mouse hole and bid the earth goodnight.
"Goodnight sun, goodnight trees, goodnight river......."
The farmers are plowing the corn stalks under. North of my city there are huge fields of bright orange pumpkins on the ground. Summer is creeping away and autumn is creeping in! Can it be so? Already? There are black-eyed Susans everywhere I look in my neighborhood. The last of the dahlias are nodding their dinner-plate blooms, and the sunflowers are drooping under the weight of their seeds. The three red leaves on our backyard maple tree add their testimony so it must be true. Already!