22 December 2008


You, dear reader, may have gathered by now that nature and I are not on the best of terms. Not that it has ever done anything all that dire to me. I have never been savaged by wild beasts - although a squirrel once nearly gave me a heart attack. Though my car has been dented by a rock slide - in Malibu Canyon - I have never had to try and swim for my life in an avalanche. I haven't died, yet, of exposure, dehydration, drowning, hypo- or hyper-thermia, starvation, falling from a great height, or altitude sickness (like my Cousin Ruth did) or any number of the multitude of other means by which nature is capable of bringing on my - or your - untimely demise.

In large part that is because I do not tempt fate. We have a mutual understanding, nature and I; for the most part I leave it alone, and it leaves me alone. Sometimes, in the guise of raccoons, it comes to my kitchen door begging for scraps. And sometimes I have been known to buy it off with offerings of cat kibble and water.

But, unlike my macha, woodsy girlfriend Eva who enjoys such risky behavior as snow camping - (Some relationship advice to all of those out there who are considering entering into relationships: it is best to avoid sharing all of your interests. It is far healthier for each of you to have some interests you can indulge with friends other than your mate.) - I am generally content to view nature out the window of my heated abode, where it belongs.

That said, we recently spent three days in Zion National Park. It had snowed there, but in spite of the fact that I have the same reaction to walking on snow that most people have to being in the vicinity of fingernails on a blackboard, we went hiking every day. Afterwards we retreated to the warmth and comfort of a well appointed cabin, complete with a gas fire, hot water and a bottle of good whisky.

And it was beautiful, as evidenced by the photos below:

Then we left Zion and drove to Tucson. Past some buffalo who were reasonably picturesque, ending up where there isn't any snow, but there are colorful cacti and trees. Tomorrow I shall head home where I will indulge myself in my two favorite Xmas traditions: Xmas Eve dinner of garlicky roast pork, black rice and beans at the house of a Cuban friend of mine where I will probably be the only straight man in attendance. And Xmas Day Chinese lunch and a movie matinee. Oh Boy!

Eva the girlfriend shall celebrate the holidays elsewhere, outdoors mostly, in the snow; indoors occasionally, engaging in yoga. I am very happy for her.

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