AZT 4: Like a Rabbit in the Headlights

‘Musings after a zero day in town.’

We left the Oracle Inn restaurant after dark and headed back to the Chalet Motel. It was frightening and disorienting how quickly the cars zoomed passed us. It has hardly been two weeks since we started walking, but my sense of speed has completely re-calibrated to “walking speed” only. The headlights of the oncoming cars were so bright I couldn’t see anything in front of me. It looked as though they were driving straight at me. I stumbled further off the road, but quickly lost my sense of direction. And then it hit me, I was struck by an epiphany about the rabbits that dash back and forth in front of my car in my driveway at home. This is what it’s like for the rabbits. It really appeared that the cars were aiming right for me and my body wanted to dash out of the way. I fought the urge to dash the other way into the road. It was only a mile back to the motel, but in the dark turned timeless like dodging fireballs in a black hole.

The more miles that accumulate beneath my feet the more I feel like an animal navigating a bizarre world. I was born into this bizarre world, always feeling as though I’ve had one foot in and one foot out. It is familiar and yet so oddly unfamiliar at other times. There is a rhythm in nature that I find much more familiar, deep within my soul, I can feel it. You can feel it if you let go …let go of time guided by numbers, embrace the smell of the wilds, one foot in front of the other and time begins to move to a different cadence. It is a wild dance where everything moves together, choreographed to perfection. It is all very fluid and natural until you stumble out of the woods and get knocked over by the smell of shampoo, deodorant, laundry soap, and an array of chemicals so strong you feel as though you just entered the “super wash” cycle. The smells are threatening, like a cage intended to tame the wild beast. The sounds change. The wind and the birds quiet. They are replaced by tire noise on the road, big motors, little motors, beeping, and electrical buzzing. The noises are endless, nearly maddening. Like wild animals in a city I search for food. There is so much and yet so little of what I really want. After eating too much, of what hardly seems like real food, I wander back into the woods. The layers shed once more. I’m satisfied by a handful of nuts, mesmerized by the sunset, I am one with my surroundings again. I lay my head upon the earth and sleep beneath the stars. I say hello to the ant. Bow to the tree. I am the animal in my dreams that walks with nature. This is my dream …to walk with nature. And so I walk, and walk again, to become the animal in my dreams.

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