Monday, July 20, 2009
Afternoon at the river with Bodhi.
Its been a wonderful time, a challenging time, and a scary and exciting time.
This past weekend, I left my camera and phone at home, and took Ethan and Bodhi, and their best friends, Caroline and Julia from across the street up to the Hyalite reservoir to play. The first day, we went up just thinking we were going to spend an hour throwing rocks in the water, four and a half hours later, everyone was stripped down to their underwear, and Caroline had found a huge dead tree, which she was using as a canoe.
Sitting on the front, she gave the kids rides all around the marshy flooded shallows at the end of the lake, using a long branch to pole her way around. She and Ethan ended up in some deep water that was near the shore, and I wound up wading out to them in my skirt up to my chest and towing them back out. We were all freezing, but we had some blankets in the car, and our clothes, which we'd been swimming in earlier in the day, were warm and dry from laying on the boulders and grass near the edge of the lake.
We put our clothes on and wrapped up in blankets, read a little Harry Potter as the sun sank over the mountains, making the lake sparkle with amber colored light. As the bugs came out, we decided to head home and make plans for the next day's adventure.
We chose a name for our tribe, The Wet Foot Tribe, and we all got names, Caroline was Mountain Otter, due to her bravery and love of freezing snow melt water, Julia was Tiger Lilly, she can transform into a tiger to save her tribe, Ethan was Silver Fish because he loves the water and is fast as a streaking fish darting away, and Bodhi was Golden Gecko, because that's a cool name and he wants to climb the walls and camouflage himself. The name they gave me was Mother Wet Skirt, due to the wading.
The next day, we went back up and took our bathing suits, some old climbing rope, a bunch of food, and some matches, and the kids foraged for floating felled trees. They found four of them, two of which had to be about thirty feet long. We lashed the trees together, got a big piece of bark, and everyone boarded the raft, which floated like a champ. We floated it out into the middle of the reservoir, with me steering in the back, paddling with the piece of bark, and did a big circuit of our end of the lake.
We came back in and lit a campfire to get warm, ate half a bag of marshmallows and almost everything else we'd brought, and read some more Harry Potter.
The kids took off into the forest once they were dry and warm and roamed around playing Wet Foot Tribe. After several hours of this, we decided to change back into our suits and head back out into the water, make some improvements on the raft, and do some sleeping on it in the sun.
Finally, the bugs came out, and it was time to head home. We were all slightly sunburnt and totally exhausted, but peacefull and happy. It was amazing to spend the weekend with these guys, each one of these kids is creative and generous, and they take care of each other so well. It was like being a part of the Lost Boys in Neverland. There wasn't a squabble among them, we all worked together to build our boat, we all worked together to pitch and clean up camp.
We plan to head out a couple more times this summer to add more trees to the raft, and a sail and a flag to camp.
Bodhi and I were chatting today about what its going to be like this winter when I'm in Aspen and they are here in Montana, and we decided together that while it was going to be so hard, and we would miss each other so much, we can help that by being together as much as possible for the rest of the summer. Our plan is to love each other and take every moment we can to play together.
We picked up Ethan from Space Camp at the Museum of the Rockies this afternoon and spent the rest of the day at the Tinsley House, a living history museum, pestering the blacksmith about how the 1790's bellows works and drawing diagrams on the anvil of gears and fans. Ethan and I played an intense game of bottle cap checkers, which ended in a cat's game, while Bodhi built an elaborate picture out of quilting blocks. They each took a long turn on the rag rug loom, weaving a new rug for the entry hall of the house.
We spent some time exploring the root cellar, and wandering through the beautiful garden guessing which plants were what kind of food.
I can't imagine what its going to feel like to move away from these two amazing little souls, but I am certain in my heart that this is the first step in the direction of a more fulfilling life for all of us. We are going to break the mold, break free from the norm, from the "way its done" and live a life of adventure, freedom and soulful living. To do that, I've gotta go first and test the waters.
Ethan and Bodhi are both excited for the move to Aspen, and while experiencing yet another blissful summer in the country in Montana is making me think I might be insane to take this step, the promise of being able to have a career that can care for my family in skiing is enough to make me want to give it everything I've got, and see if we can do it.