September 13, 2010

Cliffs are no fun

Another weekend has come and gone, and yet again I have little accomplished to show for it. I have this vision in my head of weekends being this time where I magically accomplish tons of stuff - in my head I knit sweaters (please note that I have never knit an entire sweater before. ever.), become a master gardener, rearrange my house, do all my accounting homework for the week, and read 3.5 books. In reality, I am lucky if I can drag myself to the grocery store, sweep the cat hair off my floor, and maybe drink a cocktail (or five).

Actually, I am being a little hard on myself. This weekend was fairly productive, although I didn't really do anything I needed to do. Friday night was spent on the beach with a few friends, drinking a few beers and eating delicious burritos from Taqueria Michoacan while watching sea otters and seals frolic in the waves. Saturday I began digging into my homework - I gave it about an hour of effort before I actively began looking for a distraction. Said distraction showed up soon after and we went for a hike.

We went up to Fall Creek in Felton. It's one of my favorite places to go- it has this mystical quality about it that makes it almost seem unreal at times, and it is gorgeous to hike any time of the year. We had gone with the intention of finding a limestone rock for Boy's planter box. Apparently the only place to find a rock that was perfect enough for him was at the top of a freaking cliff - something he neglected to tell me until we trekked past the sign that said "Danger - Sheer Cliff Face Ahead".

Now please keep in mind that I will try anything once. That is, unless there is a chance I won't survive the thing I am trying. I saw the sign and thought "Oh, hey... a cliff. That's pretty scary. Maybe I should stay away...", but by the time I completed this thought in my head Boy was pretty far ahead of me and I had to scramble to catch up. We went along OK for a few minutes... until it started getting steeper. And steeper. And as it got steeper, there were less rocks to climb up and more slippery dirt to slip around and slide on. I started breathing heavier and keeping my eyes on my feet. I could feel myself getting more and more scared as I kept slowly climbing higher while in my head I was screaming "Why are you doing this? Stop and turn around!!". Finally I tore my eyes away from my dusty, pink trail running shoes (certainly not cliff-climbing shoes) and looked up. We were nowhere near the top. Not even close. I looked behind me and saw a rock tumble down the cliff, leaving dusty poofs of dirt as it bounced towards the leafy green ground I wanted to be safely standing on. Boy witnessed my hesitation and realized that maybe having me follow him up a cliff was a bad idea. As he turned and started towards me I burst into tears.

Yes. I was standing on a cliff, clutching a scrawny little tree and crying. That's a pretty pathetic sight. To be honest, it wasn't even that big of a cliff, but the fact that it was a cliff and it was scary and I could slip and fall to my death petrified me. Boy held me and apologized for not realizing that I would be afraid. He told me that he and his brother have climbed up this cliff before, sat on the top and played harmonicas. Somehow this did not make me feel better. The image of them perched on the top with their legs dangling off the edge while innocently playing harmonicas made me feel worse - partly because I know they have no musical ability and it must have sounded terrible, and partly because he made it sound so easy to get to the top. Maybe I was being irrational. I took a deep breath and looked up again, this time thinking about how I could make it up. Then I thought about how the hell I would get down. Scrambling up a cliff is a whole hell of a lot different than getting down. This made my breathing even tighter, and I knew I needed to get down.

As I looked down to figure out my path of escape, my eye caught something. Nestled in between two rocks on a soft patch of green lichen was a snail shell. Not a garden variety snail with those big, bulbous shells, but a small, graceful shell with a delicate pattern. And as cheesy as it was, I knew that I was meant to find it. I had conquered my fear enough by climbing up partially, and this was my reward. I protected it carefully as I slid down the cliff on my butt, avoiding rocks and sticks and finally skidding to a stop at the bottom leaving a cloud of dust behind me. Boy was apologetic and guilty, but I was too - I should have voiced my fear before climbing up instead of panicking partially up. We walked on nice, flat ground for a while before finding a log next to the creek to sit on for lunch. There, I found some moss that I knew had to be complemented with my shell, and on the way out of the park I found a perfect green acorn. I came home and created this little ... whatchamacallit plant decoration thing.
The rock did not come from the hike, unfortunately. I stole it from my friend's driveway a few weeks ago in hopes of making these, but I failed when it ended up looking like the rock was wearing a yarmulke. Anyways, I know it's silly, but it somehow makes me feel better about the whole situation. Now I know to voice my concerns when I am afraid (because chances are that fear isn't going to suddenly disappear), and Boy knows that I won't climb up a cliff and play harmonica with him.

Having a panic attack on a cliff that's not all I did this weekend! I started spinning my new roving, and I already feel like I've gotten much better. 

It still has its thick and thin bits, but as a whole I feel it's much more even.

I also skeined my first bit of yarn. I read that if you skein it and wash it, that can help get rid of some of the extra twistyness, so I will hopefully be doing that sometime this week so it can sit outside and dry over the weekend.


  1. I love the imagery and your courage!

  2. You funny!!!! Gave me a great, bursting out guffaw laugh! thanks Mari.