I finally fulfilled one of my dreams out here, to sleep in the open, under the stars. It’s something I’d only do in a safe place. Last night I visited my original camp for a potluck, but I was packed to the gills for a camp move. Seemed like the perfect place to try it out. So I got out my hiking pad and Thermorest sleeping bag, threw down my desert carpet, and stared at the stars while listening to music and coyotes (and generators, lol). It was a perfect night for it, cloudless and no moon, with very little wind. Night temps were only supposed to be in the mid-forties, and my bag is rated for 20. I slept over nine hours! My body was a little cranky though, upon awakening, as I’ve not done any ground sleeping in a while, particularly on a ton of scree. My fellow camp mates think I’m crazy. I thought it was fantastic! I hope I can do it again in the future, but maybe on better ground 😊
I ran out of people juice yesterday, and so instead of joining up with another group, I dropped camp close to my old place. Lots of people I know will be coming to the area to camp in the near future, and I wanted a place close enough to visit, but far enough away to give me my needed introvert space. The last eight days I met more people than I have in the last ten years combined – and although the environment was good, at the end I was tired. I also want to examine and parse all the information I took in during my lovely visit. It was a lot to receive about a lot of different people, many of whom I’ll be seeing again over the course of the next two months. My tired brain needs some downtime, along with some restoration of my emotional energy. I gave freely of my time and attention, particularly to those at tough places in their lives that sought me out to talk. I did the best I could to offer insight, support and encouragement based on my own life experiences.
When you make your entrance into a place as an Empress, that leaves a lot to live up to, lol. I got the name because my first night out was cold, and I was wearing my full length, fur lined leather duster. I stood away from the crowd at a higher ground point, observing, as I will often do when entering a new environment. A couple of people saw me, apparently felt I was aloof, and made the statement “Who does she think she is, the Empress?” I found it hysterically funny. Empress of Misfits (or Band Aids, depending on the day) became my defacto title(along with a few other nicknames, Dancing Queen, Energy Bunny, and Band Momma’s Momma) As I made my way into the fray, I encountered the fire eating, dance instructor and balloon animal maker and he introduced himself. After hearing the little story, he made me a crown and was my first dance partner. After dancing for hours wearing a balloon crown, any idea of aloofness anyone had about me was fully dispelled, lol. My beautifully wrought crown.
As the DJ Ausia (Pandamonuim @ You Tube) wound down for the night, the digeridoo band took over. Wow, what a talented group of people! They played their hearts out for the full dance floor crowd, for several hours. The energy was just electric and palpable. But it came at a cost to one of the members. His hands were swollen and in pain. It’s been over a decade since I did any therapeutic massage on anyone. But I felt I could help both he and the band momma, who was suffering in many different ways as well. We all made our way to a side tent, where I was able to help restore feeling and reduce swelling for Dave the drummer’s hands via hand and spinal massage, and also to relieve Jules’ migraine via cranio-fascial massage. It felt good to do bodywork on others again; to be helpful and aid in healing. While I’m not professionally trained, it has been healing to several other people throughout my life. And I like helping others. It is something I can do to give back.
But now it is me time. I’ve not given of myself to that extent in a long time. I received a lot back- new friendships, tons of hugs, and warm acceptance. Now it is time to restore my balance and enjoy the quiet, nature, music and relax. Withdrawing is my way to regenerate. When I get overextended, I’m quite cranky and snappish. Work requires a lot of me at this time, as well as some familial and property issues. But I would not trade the last week’s experience for anything. To watch others give, to give of oneself, and to enjoy a circle of empathy was really renewing to me; restorative of my belief in the goodness of humanity. It is a great deal of what makes up the nomadic way of life – the helping, the giving, the love for one another. I realize all of this sounds a bit hokey if you’ve not experienced it. You’ll just have to take my word for it, unless you’re ready to hit the road and see for yourself!
Give of yourself. Listen to others. Hug someone. And breathe.
~SE renewing in the desert