Thursday, June 2, 2011

anchoring the wind

Those that dwell in tents tend to keep an eye trained on the horizon.
We headed off for a weekend of camping once as dusky purple clouds hunched their shoulders along the horizon, darkly foreboding. Dramatic skies are not camping friendly skies.
We set up our tent in record time, spurred on by an approaching storm. By the time we unfolded the tarp, wind had started to huff and puff.
My husband takes camp set up very seriously and wrestling with tent poles and flapping ropes had stained his sense of humour.
As he struggled to secure one end of the tarp, I was appointed the task of anchoring the other side. My arms were taking their orders directly from the wind and a feeling of hysteria began rising in my chest. "Don't laugh," I sternly warned myself. "Save your strength." Save yourself would have been more appropriate as it turned out.
Our friend, sizing up the situation, sprang to my side and gripped the tarp as well. His arms joined the puppet like dance.
Our lawn chair had been placidly reposed near the fire pit, and it now hopped twice and hurled itself into the fire. There was a flash and a puff of acrid smoke.
This was our undoing.
Our friend dropped to his knees and gave way to hysteria.
The tarp seized its chance and wrenched free, tearing two grommets in its bid for freedom.
For the rest of the weekend I was prone to little fits of laughter, such are the after effects of hysteria.

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