Thursday, October 09, 2008

The Temple of My Familiar

There's a street behind my house. Behind that street, there is forest--a Ponderosa-filled, trail-ridden, semi-hilly, sometimes flat, sometimes hilly forest. I like the idea of living on the edge of the wilderness. From the trails I run every other day, I could conceivably run/ride my bike/walk to Walnut Canyon which is a National Monument. The trails only let you near the actual canyon but inside that canyon supposedly live bears and fox and owls and mountain lions. This space is temple-like to me. That it exists right behind me seems like a miracle. And because, like any empty property next to any (every?) house I've lived, the space has been eventually developed, that eventually, this place will have more streets and more houses on it makes it all the more precious.

My mom was here with her boyfriend last week. We had nonstop good fun including going to the upper rim of the Walnut Canyon as well as the upper rim of the Grand Canyon. As well as the pinnacle of Sedona's vortex (can a pinnacle be a vortex?).

We also went on a hike in behind the house. As we rounded the last turn to go back up the hill, what crossed our paths but a gigantic tarantula. The cephalothorax was all black. The opisthosoma was a rusty brown. He didn't like being on the path with us. He could sense our footsteps, my mom thought, and so was already on the move out of the way. He crawled, as quickly as he could without calling too much to himself by scurrying, across the path. I wanted to tell him that we already noticed him and that we too wanted to look cool but that we'd go ahead and wait for him to make it into the crispy grasses.
Then, Erik and Z and I went walking on Sunday far, far back behind our house and there was another. And then on Monday when I was running with Z, there was another.

At the risk of letting my arachnophopbic sister know this story and vow to never come visit me again, I thought that this was a particularly good October story. And although I'm a little sketched out by seeing 3 (three!) in one week, in these dark times I worry less about big spiders trying to eat me and more that I'll end up having to eat them.


Lisa B. said...

This *is* an excellent story, one to buoy us up in these dark times. (By the way, the historian has taken to using this expression all the time in his academic administrator meetings. Look how helpful you are!) I must add, however, that no matter how dark the times get, I will NOT eat tarantulas. Or any other bug you may find in the forest primeval. I hope that makes them feel a little safer.

lis said...

your post has made me unbearably homesick for the desert. sigh.

Dr. Write said...

Yum! Spider soup strengthens us, in these dark times.

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