The Story of An Arkansas Atheist: Retreat Edition Ep 2 (1/3)

Day 2

Today felt great. I have done everything I wanted to and more. I don’t normally make lists, but in this situation, I feel the need to itemize my experiences. Why I feel this need, I don’t think I am capable of div8ulging on the account of ignorance. Let’s just say it sounds like a good idea, so I am going with it.

1. First thing: I awoke at false dawn. I don’t have any access to what the actual time was, as my phone had died from lack of charge last night. My first mission is always getting the fire pit blazing. If everything else goes wrong with your day, at least you have a fire.

Fortunately for me, there were live embers from the night before. With a little added fuel in the form of ceder shavings, copious amounts of my breath, and these remnant coals, my morning fire leapt waist high before sunrise. I ate a banana to celebrate.

Wolf said the pump house is repaired, so I walk up the freshly shaved drive to check it out. Evidence of work extends past the driveway. I noticed last night when drunkenly parking the car, there had been some more ceder bows and saplings cut down and piled up on the already large brush pile in such a way as to cover the new fire pit I built across the bridge. The cool thing I noticed is that the pile is so large now that the car is even more hidden from County Line Rd. After a few tries I got the pump house pressure stabilized, and by just after sunrise, I felt as though my first morning had moved along well. Coffee.

Ep 2 Pano
The view to the south from the Oasis of Education.

The first failure of the entire trip came after now, and it is my sad duty to report that my entire batch of magic coffee ended up ruined on the account of spoiled half-n-half creamer, which didn’t expire for another three weeks. It hadn’t been opened. There is nearly nothing more difficult then sending an entire pitcher of magic coffee. Oh well. So, I drank a second smaller batch of coffee black. Truly delightful if I am telling the truth. It has been a while since I drank black coffee, and now, since, I have kept drinking black coffee from time to time.

After coffee, I made the unusual choice to burn some gasoline in order to charge the phone, as I did have my car charger with me. After a couple of hours, I discovered the solar charge controller in the cabin had a round, 12 volt port on the front which charged just find. I wasted a sixteenth a tank of fuel. Could have been worse, and honestly, I’m really glad to discover the charge controller port this early in my stay.

While the phone charged in the car, I extracted all my camping gear, unfolded the hammock, and took note of the hunger which had slowly been building since my banana. Bacon and cheese again, but this time I also began some morning rice. Thus before 08:30, I sat on the cabin’s porch and fed.

After eating, between checking the phone and water pressure, (which despite my observations earlier grew uncomfortably high, but this I gained control of via a valve and felt a sense of relief once the pump had audibly stopped pumping) I did my first mediation of the day. A very simple being with breath exercise for one circuit of my Mala. I stood from this meditation with a pretty clear idea of how I wanted the rest of my day to go. It didn’t take long for me to begin scouting for a good place to erect the tent. This search didn’t take long at all.


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