Sometimes life just feels a little too heavy for my liking.
Even when it’s plowing forward with fast speed. Even when you fill your days with cuddly and obedient puppies, kids, schedules, plans, friends, love. Every so often, you still get a little lost. And the lost hurts ever more than before, because of everything you have GAINED along the way. And I guess the more you gain, the more you have to lose – and that goes with emotional health too. The farther you surpass your dreams of stillness and lighter breathing and lesser sick days and competence and more, the harder it feels to lose it all, or just feel like it. Sometimes fulfilling dreams feels like fulfilling dreams. And sometimes there’s the afterglow and then the crash. When you find yourself strangely chilly on a late April day – so excited for your sleeping son to wake up, because you haven’t seen him in a HUGE amount of time – 30 hours or so – but all he can really do is grin into your face and wander off to find Nana. And that feels less empty than the fact that you’d like to wander off and find Nana too.
Sometimes I just miss it all – every happy time. Every sane time. Every smiling face. Everyone I ever loved. Most of the time, I’m quite full up with all of the goodness in the world. It’s enough so that I forget what emptiness can feel like. For a long while.
Perhaps I should backtrack. This is a happy story of celebrations and finding stuff you want to find. Sometimes it just hurts to come off of that. I get sad when I do something incredible and it’s over. I really need to learn more of that “smile because it happened” mojo. For now, let’s set the scene with thoughtful music. This was the song playing when the something fantastic happened over the weekend. It’s called “Madame X” and it’s on Robbie Robertson’s album, “How To Be Clairvoyant.”
If you came to this post to learn how to become clairvoyant, I may not have want you need. Unless you want to learn how to find moose. You almost do have to be clairvoyant to find moose effectively. I am a novice moose finder, going on expert level.
The moose story is ten years old, and it starts when we did. Cassidy and I met ten years ago this July and he found me my first moose. He has super night vision. This will come into play soon. Over the weekend, we celebrated our sixth wedding anniversary. I had never left both kids overnight before and I’m not a great planner so we had hemmed and hawed about going away, just the two of us, but we still had no plan only a few days before this weekend. A little Google searching kept bringing me to the Northeast Kingdom of Vermont. Perfection. It’s only 2-3 hours from home and is said to be filled with moose. I have seen moose in Maine, New Hampshire, Wyoming and Montana, but never Vermont. A check on my Moose Bucket List, if you will.
We had secured a babysitter, my mom, months earlier after she had offered to watch the kids for our upcoming anniversary, and Scarlet had mentioning wanting a weekend with Nana. So we took off, with Athena too, to find some moose and spend a night apart from our kids. And very much with each other. The weather was crummy with even worse predictions but we didn’t let that stop us. We headed to St. Johnsbury, Vermont on a totally smooth ride. This was a scenic outlook turnoff on the highway:
Athena was great in the car. I took these backwards while the car was moving, which credits a fast shutter speed:
Then we drove into town – right into a beautiful Maple Festival in the pouring rain. And then a moose-related store:
At our Inn, we asked advice for seeing moose. It’s a real thing with me. They’re not always easy to find. The woman who worked at the moose store told me she had lived her whole life there and had never seen a moose in town. The woman who worked at our Inn said she saw them daily on a drive through some bogs about 20 minutes out of town. I have spent many frustrating hours TRYING to find moose. I have also found many moose. There are places you can go in northern New England, nearly off the grid, where moose outnumber humans. In the west, Grand Teton National Park has always been a sure thing with me. There are moose in my own town, although I’ve never seen one. Sometimes I dream about having Predator-vision like in the Predator movies which would show moose up in bright red for hundreds of miles. This could save lives for driving at night too.
Where’s the patent office??
We drove off to find the bogs. Obviously I will tell you that I’d want to see ten moose at once, parading around me with full antlers and glossy fur. The truth is that they’re a bit funny looking in spring. They are shedding their winter fur and their antlers haven’t grown back in yet. They’re scrawny and hard to find. And your eyes will play tricks on you out there in the wilderness.
We had fun just the same. There was SNOW everywhere still. And weird, abandoned buildings.
We would have thought these bogs would be teeming with moose. It was almost comically and exaggeratedly moosey out there.
I thought about Photoshopping a bunch of moose in there, as a joke.
So pretty, but.. why can’t moose like warm and sunny beaches?
We gave up after awhile and went back to town to rest and get food. We went out again at dusk, when moose are more active. (dawn and dusk) Cassidy was driving about ten miles per hour. I don’t see well at night and I had left my glasses at home. I basically just listened to Robbie Robertson for hours. Suddenly, and this was my Facebook status about it:
Him: (stopping the car) “What is that? I see something. Maybe people?”
Me: “Let me look with my zoom lens.”
Him: “What do you see?”
Me: “MOOSE! Two MOOSE! Holy ****!”
Then we both ran out of the car to see closer.
Success! It was 7:30 at night and I had a zoom lens, and not a low light lens. Plus, a river separated us..
I got them the best that I could, though.
Cassidy and Athena posing after the moose ran off.
Just those two moose made us dizzyingly happy. There’s a post-moose-sighting giddiness that follows, and then you crash HARD. Just like after a day spent playing Tetris and seeing the shapes fall in front of your eyes when you go to bed at night…
..you can see moose shapes when you close your eyes at night.
Right after the moose we saw a turkey in a tree. Then it flew away. I didn’t know they could do that!
I guess you just never know!