We are in our last four weeks of camp hosting at Fool Hollow Lake State park in the cool Arizona mountains. The wonderful monsoon storm season has passed, though we do still get a surprise afternoon rain shower every few days. The campground was full of happy campers for the Labor Day weekend, and now things are slowing down and we are blessed to still be in this beautiful, serene place.
And I am beginning to make plans for what’s next. We’ll be heading down to the valley in October for two months of Big City things, including Marika’s cataract surgeries. We’ll camp for a few days between here and there, to slowly acclimate to the changes in terrain and temperature.
We were planning to head to the Texas Gulf Coast in December, but now we’re not sure where we’ll go after Phoenix. And we don’t need to know yet. For now, we just need to enjoy where we are, right here, right now.
We’ve been going into town in the afternoons after work, checking out some of the local artisan galleries. We attended the White Mountain Humane Society’s annual fundraiser, and happened upon last weekend’s Wildlife Festival at the Nature Center. Marika made a pine cone and peanut butter bird feeder, and I shot a BB gun for the first time in my life. Even with the wind swinging my paper target, I hit the bullseye two out of five times. The instructor was as thrilled as I was.
We’re still appreciating the physical work of our camp hosting duties, and I can definitely feel how much stronger I am, lifting the wet mop, starting and maneuvering the leaf blower. We’ve been socializing more with our co-workers, and we had fun giving out Smokey Bear activity bags to the kid campers these past weekends.
When I start to freak out about next month, and being in the Big City, and the traffic and the air quality, and the heat, I remember to breathe and re-focus on the good things of being in there, like seeing my dad, and my own dentist, connecting with friends in person, eating at our favorite ethnic restaurants, real bagels, getting a good haircut, working with my favorite Mac clients one last time. And if it’s too warm, there’s a swimming pool at the RV park where we’re staying.
And then I bring my attention back to being here, and how I can embrace this remaining time in this beautiful place. So I’ve been walking along the lake even when I’m feeling lazy, taking Cody for long strolls through the campground, and tonight, I am getting on the water in my kayak for sunset, even though there may be a bit of a breeze.
It is a delicate balance of planning for the future, and being present, right here. I think it is this constant shifting and balancing between now and then that creates the momentum to keep us moving forward. Yes, we still tip into the sadness of Mabel no longer being here, and that, too, keeps the energies moving.
So as we enjoy our last weeks here at the lake, with the big sky and the tall trees and tonight’s full moon, we will keep saying thank you and WOW, and thank you some more.