“Surfing equates to living in the very moment of ‘now’. When you ride a wave you leave behind all things important and unimportant, the purity of the moment is upon you.”
– Bill Hamilton
(And we aren’t the only ones who get it…)
As the season for anything remotely looking like “good water” comes to a close once again, I find myself to the shore with an almost urgent pulling on my spirit; I have gotten much better about “night swimming”, and don’t partake anymore, unless it’s a special occasion. But, I still have a tendency to be out there at nighttime, watching the water and listening to its many voices sing their’ many songs. I think it is therapeutic for me to dissolve into the sand that way…
I have come to appreciate the fact that a huge part of my personal fondness of the ocean and beach is the wildlife associated with it all. Sea otters, sea lions, seals, dolphins (and even a baby killer whale one summer) swim the seas that I love; in essence, they swim the seas with me every time I am in the water. I am an animal lover anyway, but these animals are the sole keepers of a very different kind of love from me – a calming and healing kind (but, one that is full of natural respect, for my own part).
Okay, not really; but each animal encountered thus far has proven ornery in his or her unique way.
I was nearly stampeded by a disturbingly stealthy sounder of wild boar in a clearing (where there was fire going) at like 5:30am; after some initial screaming and table climbing, my (much more outdoorsy) relatives came and essentially shooed the lot of them through our camp.
The local bird situation: We all know how I feel about birds…but I realize that I am in their’ territory so it’s not been too bad, all things considered. There is a woodpecker however, who insists on pecking away at the acorn tree right over MY head for hours on end, which is super annoying at first but you learn to tune it out. And there are the California Condors, who fly overhead because they have a preserve at the Pinnacles; I had no idea how fucking ugly those things are in the face, wow…
A few Grey Foxes have been scampering and playing in the distance, one is much more curious about our camp than his mates.
There are big cats all over the place – Mountain Lions and Bobcats, at least…and they have evolved into very ballsy beasts that fear no human. The curiosity trait supposedly akin to all cats is definitely present in the wild cats in this area; they keep you on your toes at all times.
THE OLD SAYING “They are more afraid of you than you’re afraid of them.” DOES NOT STAND HERE.
In short, the local wildlife is engaging enough in collective behavior to render any trip out here to “relax” totally out of the question, which is fine with me – I have ADHD and PTSD so relaxing is an elusive idea to me under any circumstances.
PREFACE: Before my residence was even my home (dating all the way back to high school when it was simply where my “weed connection” lived), it was already referred to by anyone who visited as “the Trail’s End” due to its physical location at the spill-out point of a foot-trail that finales with a foot-bridge crossing a creek bed. The point of my sharing this is to emphasize the way that we regularly get visited by “wild” animals; either inside or somewhere on the property, and are called to action to do some chasing, nursing or exterminating – depending of course, on the wild visitor and its disposition. With the creek being right across the way, we have learned, for example, that we will get bullfrogs in the carpets if we leave the front door open for too long during the rainy season; or there’s the running possibly that we’ll be someday re-visited by any one of the handful of HUGE raccoons that hail from the sewer drains right at the curb (it’s a specific few of the much larger family of raccoons that we seem to have waged war with). There are always new creatures popping up in the extreme weather on either end of the scale, so we are pretty good about staying on our toes when it comes to response times and reactions in the context of an unexpected “wild” visitor from the adjacent creek bed. We have collectively dealt with such intrusions many times together in the past, and because of such historical successes in this realm, we were COMPLETELY UNPREPARED for last night’s surprise night caller.
I was walking from the kitchen with my hands full of stoner snacks and a cup of water when it all happened; as I passed by the entry hallway leading in from the front porch, a torpedo seemed to hit me…seriously.
I was thwacked so hard in my face by what I was sure must have been a grenade or some kind of rogue projectile firecracker or some shit; I saw stars briefly as my hands reflexively went limp in any grip I had previously had on my stuff. It was sometime around that moment that I realized the “grenade” was a bad theory – grenades don’t flutter into walls like drunken birds.
IT WAS A FUCKING BAT!!!
I have never actually seen a bat before last night up close and personally; and I’m sure that intentional – as I wouldn’t suggest to anyone to go out to the sticks and try finding one – they’re fucking creepy, lightning fast little fuckers. the entire saga of last night’s events pertaining to the intruding bat can be easily and quite accurately summed up in this video clip, though…so I figured, “fuck it…why not sum it up for everyone?”
…and I am sadly NOT exaggerating when I say that this is an accurate depiction of the responses to the bat being in the house that were put forth by me and my roommate last night. Enjoy!