“Would you like to use my mallet?”
She must have been watching us from her deluxe caravan tent, complete with rooms and windows and even a shower. She must have been watching as we broke an “unbreakable” water bottle pounding in the tent stakes of our tiny backpacking tents, unsuccessfully.
“You have to tilt the pegs slightly to the side, you see? Move away from the tree. Those cockatoos will be back.” Her voice was thick with an Australian accent as she guided us step-by-step on the how-to’s of tent-staking.
My eyes rolled in their sockets.Two wilderness guides receiving advice from a khaki clad car camper in the middle of a trailer park style campground with concrete like earth below it.
“And don’t go to bed with chewy in your pocket. Those wombats will tear right through your tent to get it.”
Now she had my interest.
“Just wait until dusk then follow kids’ torches and you’ll know a wombat is there. Those kids love the wombats. We call it the wombat parade.”
So at dusk we set out on a leisurely stroll around our camping neighborhood in search for this mystical creature known as the wombat.
It didn’t take long. We soon heard a scuffling sound coming from some nearby shrubs and out waddled a furry little pudge of a creature. Something of a mixture between a small bear and an enormous hamster. It was pigeon-toed and buck-teethed, and I was immediately enamored.
These were the animals who would be ripping through the walls of our tent?
We followed wombats around all night. One right after another. We watched them eat grass. We watched them snort at one another. We laughed hysterically when they would try to “run”.
We toured through Australia for two months seeing kangaroos, crocodiles, emus, koalas, etc. But I never felt such a complete sense of contented joy as I did while watching those wombats.
Now, as I sit watching spring erupt outside of my apartment window, I feel the same simplistic sense of happiness. A much needed breath of fresh air after a long and tiring winter.
As spring has begun to sprung, where are you receiving your joy from? A walk outside, a new friendship, or perhaps…the image of the chubby stroll of a pigeon-toed wombat.
Love the simple things in life.