After final goodbyes to our extended coworker family, we drove what seemed to be longer than ever before to Zions National Park where we ate a late lunch at our usual spot, Café Soleil. Not wanting to leave or admit that it may all be different next time around, we spent a couple hours just sitting on the side deck, watching a rather large squirrel venture back and forth.
We checked in to our usual spot at Zion Mountain Ranch and found that our cabin was most unusual for where we typically stay. This time we would be on the opposite site of the highway. I wasn’t quite sure that I was willing to let anything about this trip be too entirely different than our half dozen trips here before. I jokingly announced that I would let the decision fall under whether or not I was a fan of the little custom soap that always comes with a room.
Indeed, the soap was amazing as always, but the deal was really sold as I went to sit on the front porch, to take it all in much like we always do, and right as I sat down a large cat came leaping through the brush, practically crawling right into our laps where she quickly fell asleep. She drooled down my leg and we both laughed. I didn’t even know that cats would drool! I’ve never been a cat person and could almost honestly say that they are the least favorite of any pet animal, for me. But this cat had me at hello, purring loudly in a deep sleep that was almost comical.
We decided that she too must be narcoleptic and thusly named her Narcy. I was sad to leave her sitting there, watching me go as we ventured back into town for our usual dinner spot at The Spotted Dog.
The perks of traveling only as two, we got right in despite busy season and enjoyed something a little different than anything we had ordered before. We took our time. We laughed out loud. We watched the full moon rise over The Watchman. It is, quite frankly, what we do. This is our place. I love repeating every moment, every time.
Sometimes it is nice to realize what is unchanged. There’s something about that feeling that makes the world instantly slow down. Any other day, feeling unchanged might feel as though you’ve fell behind or made no progress in life. I suppose it is just one of those nostalgic elements of life where the grass is always greener as I can assure you that when so much about life seems full speed ahead, feeling unchanged is an opportunity to suspend yourself in time. I reveled in our suspension and insisted, “We are always happy here…”
That’s not to say we aren’t happy anywhere else. We are pretty happy-go-lucky people that have brought the ebbs and flows of life into our relationship as if it were an art piece to be observed. We let it speak to us. We let it teach us. We may even let it change us entirely, moving towards a new direction and realization. But we always observe it together, from different sides, for a complete picture.
Back at our cabin, we opened the door to walk across the street and enjoy the campfire and there she was, our little Narcy. She had waited for us! I sat down on the porch and nuzzled her for a moment before being coaxed along by Stark who really wanted to get to the main event of all of this – the fire. I walked slowly with Narcy totting along behind me every step of the way. When it came time to cross the busy highway, I paused in the middle of the road, terrified that Narcy would try to cross as a car came flying by. So I went back to tell her goodbye, but she fell at my feet, insisting I rub her belly as she starred at me upside down like a dog. So I gathered her up.
Half way across the street again, she suddenly insisted on not coming. Who could really blame her? On the other side of the street were large horses, buffalo, wild ducks, and crazy chickens. I’m sure at one point in her life she thought chasing them would be fun, but I soon discovered for myself that birds can be quite terrifying as we sat by the fire and I jokingly “spoke” to the ducks with my own little quack. Without warning, a dozen ducks came waddling up at a high speed, huddling directly behind my chair and waiting for my next move.
To be honest, it was mostly comical. When we first arrived, these same ducks were waddling back in forth in high speed as two young, French children played with their lasers on the lawn. Who knew that ducks were as apt to chase lasers as a young kitten? Still a little cuckoo (no pun intended), all the birds seemed to be far too friendly. But birds in large numbers are never less than terrifying.
Four different French families came and went before a family from Chile and New Jersey came and sat with us, talking til almost midnight. We always meet the friendliest people from far off places when we spend summer nights here.
We talked about buying property there – how we come multiple times each year. We talked about the best things to do – the high seasons and the lows. It was as much reminiscing as it was a deep sense of pleading that this part of our world will forever be the same. If there is anything I have learned in recent years, it has been the saying that “home is where the heart is” comes down to memories. Home is where you make your memories and remember them all as great no matter how good or bad they may seem in the moment. This is our home and quite certainly a place I will strive to come back to for years to come.