We’ve shifted to a magical paradise. A beautiful river with deep mermaid swimming holes twists through our home, there’s a wooden playground, swing bridge, ducks, flying fox and apple orchard. We’re in Mother Nature’s private garden but I suspect she’s having a good chuckle watching me deal with the critters.
Surly black vultures hang around the dumpsters like a pack of teenagers and the mosquitoes are inexorable. If a door is left ajar, chipmunk poo trails up the stairs to the bathroom. What are they looking for? Floss? A skunk pissed himself in the rubbish bin that stank out a good 50-foot radius for two days and there are swollen ants having a family reunion in the cupboards. But that’s not what bothers me. The blood-sucking deer tics are more alarming. They bury their heads under the skin, usually in warm hairy places (eeek) and if they get to happily suck blood for twelve hours they pass on joint-crippling Lyme disease. The Dimple’s already had one. There’s plenty of cougar pouncing stories; I’m worried we might meet one that wants to play Chase The Toddler. Ruth, the camp gardener asked me whether we’d recently walked the old waterfall path. We hadn’t. ‘Oh well, must have been a bear and her cub,’ she said nonchalantly. Yikes. We’ve got scorpions in our garden. Poison Oak is everywhere and once touched it’s nasty, itchy oil spreads swiftly around the body with inevitable scratching. It has three leaves and is light green, along with sixteen thousand other light green plants with three leaves. The chef’s wife had a rattlesnake in her kitchen when she first shifted to the woods. KITCHEN! What would I do? Eggbeat it away? Pop it in the fry pan?
Potential dangers never used to concern me but now I’m responsible for two little people. You talk about your Inner Bear coming out when you need to protect your offspring, I hope, in creating me, you popped a cub inside and when it comes to the crunch I will be Awesome Mama Bear Who Knows What To Do. (As long as we’re not faced with a true mama bear and cub. Then I might let her be awesome, while we stay really quiet.)
PS On a positive note, I love our minimal lifestyle. All we have in our enormous bedroom is a spongy bed, a lamp and pile of books on the floor. Bliss.