For the first time since October 6 2013 I set up my tent to once again sleep beneath the stars. This time I’m looking up at an entire new galaxy of twinkling lights in the Southern Hemisphere. I’m elated despite my deep chest cough and runny nose which almost prevented me from sleeping outdoors tonight. It is Christmas Eve though, and if there’s one way I haven’t woken up on Christmas morning it’s in a tent alone in the front yard of my sister’s new property.
I set up as the sun was setting after story time with my four year old nephew. If he saw the tent in the daylight he would have insisted on accompanying me overnight. I found some old sleeping mats in the shed as I left my 6 month old Thermarest in Vancouver post PCT. Despite it being thinner than cardboard I still couldn’t part with it completely, but as it didn’t make the journey south I needed an alternative. In the midst of unrolling my new acquired sleeping mats (yes plural, I’m using two), a handful of dirt sprayed across my tent floor. On closer inspection and from the sensation in my nostrils I soon discovered this ‘dirt’ was in fact mouse or perhaps even rat poop. I’m just glad it was dark because by the time I discovered what I’d been sweeping out with my hands, the tent floor was clean enough for entry.
I’ve cheated a little tonight by bringing a pillow from inside for extra comfort. Everything else remains the same and I’m glad mum was able to fix my zippers enough so they close to keep out the army of bugs spying at me from the other side of the mesh. It’s hard to believe its Christmas tomorrow and almost the start of yet another year. Instead of New Year resolutions, I usually name the year ahead on December 31st. 2013 was the year of ‘Adventure’, and that certainly rang true. I haven’t thought of a name for 2014 just yet. I know it will have elements of adventure and many other novelties along the way. I still have a few days to figure it out.
Tonight is not just a first for again sleeping outdoors, but it’s the first time I’ve laid down with my iPhone at night and actually written a new blog entry. There’s so many transitions and changes taking place this month that I’ve let this world go in order to find a new path to tell my stories. I’ve finally stepped foot on that new path. I don’t know exactly where it’s going to take us, but if there’s one good lesson I’ve learned this year it’s to take things one step, one day, one trail at a time.