It was time to return to Big White today. I needed to fix my wall that was damaged, I needed to finish painting. Rob was finally freed up to help and we drove to my place in the mountains. I wasn’t sure what to expect. We packed all Rob’s tools. We stopped at Rona and grabbed some drywall and supplies. We then proceeded to make the one hour journey from Kelowna to Big White.
Rob rode in the truck with me. We discussed taking separate vehicles, but if we are to work together then there really was no point. Why waste the fuel?
Returning to my rental unit on the hill has been on my list of things to do for almost two weeks. The plumber had been in and fixed the toilet. I assumed the leak had been fixed so there was no rush to return.
I hate being wrong.
As soon as we started working on removing the drywall that was damaged we knew something was wrong. It was still wet. When I have cut drywall in the past it is usually a dusty job. When Rob cut the drywall today and there was no dust flying; that was a bad sign. It soon became apparent that the toilet leak was not the culprit. The sprinkler line in the unit was leaking from upstairs. A shout out to Billy the plumber for stopping by right away and helping us figure it out.
With Billy’s help we called the right people who came up to the hill on a Sunday and fixed the sprinkler line. It was now an insurance job so we refocused our day. We concentrated on painting. It was somehow satisfying to change the colour of our world and repaint a wall. It didn’t hurt that the colour we were changing was the most awful orange imaginable. I have never really enjoyed painting but I have survived it. Rob told me he found it meditative and satisfying. After an afternoon changing orange to white I found that I agreed. There was satisfaction to be gained from resurfacing a wall with a fresh coat of paint.
I love seeing my friends when I visit Big White. I only had mere moments to connect with John and Ann as they wandered past. I envy the simplicity of their life on the mountain. I wonder if they envy our life in town. Sometimes the grass is greener on both sides of the fence. Except at Big White; the grass doesn’t get green until June.
It was dusk before we finished up and headed home. I love the peace of being at Big White in May, Rob commented he wasn’t a fan of the hill at this time of year. Everything was dirty and the snow was fading fast. We both agreed the beauty and the peacefulness was to be embraced.
We were on a straight away feeling comfortable when it happened. The surrounding beauty of the forest, the mountains and fresh air had me lulled into a sense of peace. In the distance was a flashing light. I was getting prepared for the huge bump in the road. Rob shouted to look out. I thought to myself, he was overreacting to the bump that we were coming up on. When he yelled a second time I became aware.
A doe, a deer, jumped from the side of the road directly into our path. Realization struck me and I reacted. I slammed my foot into the brake pedal. I am not sure if I could have pressed the pedal any harder as the truck started into a skid.
The deer leaped right in front of us, Rob shouted.
I saw the little deer dance in front of us, it leaped; we missed its tail by what seemed like mere inches. We laughed nervously to each other, that was close!. Close calls always elicit the same reaction. My pulse was racing. My palms were sweating and the adrenalin rush was fading slowly away. We were both very happy that the little creature escaped unharmed.
The rest of our drive home we connected, we shared memories of simpler times. We were easing ourselves back into comfort. It was a pretty close call.
As we continued down the road to town we saw numerous other deer at the side of the road. We wondered what makes a deer decide to leap in front of a fast-moving light. Sometimes as people we are tempted to jump in front of a fast-moving light. Controlling our instincts is what separates us from the animals. Our instinct of fight or flight needs to be embraced and shared. I think we can share of ourselves and continue to create our new normal.
When I returned home it was good to see my honey again. It was good to be back in my safe place. I can’t just stay in my safe place. I must move around, I must explore the new normal we are creating for ourselves. I will continue to embrace love, to embrace other people. And to embrace the idea that we are on a good path to a new and better state of normal.