I have never been a “morning person,” though I find while here at Mittry Lake, the wee small hours of the morning just before dawn have become my favorite time of day. The heat has long subsided into cool, heavy dew that hovers over the lake. I can almost feel the weight of the cooler air as it seeps through my windows in my corner bed, pressing me ever further beneath the covers. The coolness of the night is one of the things I have learned to cherish about the desert. No matter how warm the bright and sunny day, the nights are guaranteed to be good for hibernation. Nothing exposed except fingertips moving hastily across the keyboard and eye glasses peeking out reflecting the blue glow of the laptop screen.
I am camped right alongside the canal, which becomes a cacophony of birdsong as soon as the ink black sky begins to lighten, and the dark silhouettes of the mountains recede. It is the one time the birds get to sing without competing for air time with generators, car engines, boat motors, and the noisy neighbors here in the Mittry Lake compound.
The sky is a rare gray, low-lying cloud cover this morning. I even heard half a dozen raindrops on the roof before sunrise. There will be no streaks of pink, lavender, and orange to paint the monochrome sky today. How appropriate that it should coordinate gray to match my mood. I am once again somber over the thought of saying goodbye to my nomadic tribe. Some goodbyes will be longer than others, as our paths turn different pages across the chapters of our lives. It is my last morning here in Mittry Lake, a place where I have stayed longer than any place in my two years of full timing. But as Tracey Chapman would sing, “Leave tonight or live and die this way.”
It’s been a great time here meeting new friends, putting names and faces with blog titles, and catching up with the PNW caravan from last summer. Nomadic goodbyes seem harder to me than saying goodbye in my past life. Having moved almost 20 times over the years, you would think I had it down by now. But as many have observed, nomadic friendships are a bit more “concentrated.” You must meet fast, connect quickly, and savor the fun while it lasts. Like time itself, friendships are always fleeting.
There have been times of reflection and self-examination when I wonder… am I really a loner? Or just someone who avoids the emotional pain of goodbyes? I think it all depends on the company.
The desert reveals many discoveries…