At least once a year I have to escape into the deep forest, Gentle Reader – even when I was already living in the woods. I find it necessary to be in the wilds to recharge, reconnect, commune with chorused nature in all her glory. Last weekend, I was privileged enough to escape to the Tahuya State Forest for Miss Skagg’s co-ed Bridal Shower. Mind you, this wasn’t to be your ordinary affair, with cucumber sandwiches and over-bearing relatives – no, this was beer, and bonfires; sleeping on the ground and pickup trucks. In short, it was a return to my roots after some months in the city. How could I resist?
Pluckily, I slung my knapsack to my back, and took the bus out to the land where buses rode no further. Heidi picked me up, and after a short delay to gather supplies, we sped out into the forest in a big ol’ convoy.
The group was large, and some of them had been out at the site since Tuesday, to save ideal campsites for the 25-40 expected guests. That night, there was due to be an Usher’s Meeting, wherein the ground-crew and their runners for the wedding would receive their instructions for the upcoming wedding. Now, Heidi and Paul have held a number of meetings for the bridal party during the year they’ve been planning their wedding; I haven’t come to any of them, because of an old bit of drama that hadn’t been quite resolved. I was once quite close with Emilly and Jeffrey, Heidi’s brother and future sister-in-law, and due to mysterious circumstances that I’m still not quite sure of, they have rather spectacularly refused to speak to me for just over three years. Emilly is Heidi’s wedding planner, and we were due to work closely together at this wedding. I was expecting a situation like this:
But the meeting, though late and rather tipsy, was fairly professional and we didn’t directly interact. So far, so good. It was the closest contact we’d had in years.
The next day involved wedding shower games, which were genuinely fun. Afterward, I wandered down the creek that was nearby for a good hour and a half, all alone except for some beer and my ukulele. Despite the drought, I found some holes deep enough for swimming in. My hair was simply janky with algae, darlings. The best part? I could neither see, nor hear, nor smell anything man-made. No phones, no lights, no motorcars – none of it. Simply the river, my instrument, and me.
That night, under the shelter of the fabulous Ms. Banks’ hospitality, all of the guests were well in their cups and circulating admirably. Like a cocktail party, but in the woods. Under a lantern’s glare – and near the bar – I was chatting with Ms. Banks, when Emilly came up to freshen her drink. There we were, the three of us, under a little canopy – and Ms. Banks and I were discussing how this year’s Pride had gone.
This provided the key for Emilly to join us, and join in the conversation. I waxed passionate about bisexual representation, and how important it was, and Emilly and I had a really great conversation, intermittently joined by others who flitted through the bar. We even hugged. It was a huge step.
There were more shenanigans in the woods – including, indeed, me learning how to “shot-gun” a beer, at my age! – as well as going off-roading for the first time in absolute yonks –
but a marvelous time was had, and some relationships are on the mend. Not to mention – the countdown has begun for Miss Heidi and Paul, and their wedding will officially be Very Soon. Getting back into the forest is just what I needed, Gentle Reader – and is just what the Doctor orders before Summer is out.