lunatic monkey + co.

it was a full moon last night here in banff. with a bit of clouds around, not dispersed, but in thin layers, as if you were pulling cotton candies. it is amazing to see what happens to the (familiar landscape - sun + moon - people) + people. the perspective is everything, yes, we all heard it multiple times. but boy, it is quite something to experience a bright moonlit night in the mountains.

in the residency, there are many different people and one of my favorite person is a horse lady. really. as much as she loves us, i bet she's always capable of finding more love for a proper horse! for me, im just glad to be in the proximity of someone who is so aware of the things- esp. nature related, so that i may learn something vicariously. and i do. so as the calender flips and stuff, we conspired to organize a night walk. why not. in banff, without the artificial light, the moon really gets to shine on such nights. so much light and no colours. just gradations. like black and white tv. with so many city slickers among us, we thought it would be brilliant. so words out, emails bouncing back and forth, time and place have been organized. good! it was nice that the lady was in charge, as no one would have taken monkey seriously... what? you know how to navigate and lead people in dark for a trail walk? that is trail walk, not trial walk you know?? sigh. haha. i will never be a figure of authority, something tells me...!

however, some things dont change, and that includes monkey forgetting to watch time. well, in my defense, i did set up an alarm on my phone. on phone's defense, i did silence it. oops. so with the benefit of the doubt, i shouldve just walk down to the meeting place and count on everyone being late. oops. no- being a bit too eager, i set out, hoping to meet the group.

hoodoo trails. it is one of my three choices for the usual morning walks. i walked on it many times, through different seasons and i could probably start to describe the trail in quite detailed manner by now. esp. big mama of the hoodoos. however, after initial set off, i realized that 1. the night is kinda dark with clouds, 2. i am alone. now, i realize no dumb animals going to hunt me down. that's just too much work period. as much as i may be fearful of them, so would they be fearful of me:

monkey: aagh!
(animal of the day): aagh!
*both run opposite direction
monkey/animal: aagh!!

i trust that theory because.. well i think it's true. well yes there are bears and stuff, but seriously, the chances are very slim. i have better chance of actually learning a piece of music with all the right notes. sighs. too bad that it's still considered a near-miracle for monkey. anyhows. so im alone with the night sound. ive walked on that trail with less light before. but the difference wouldve been that it would get lighter as it was during the morning. in this case, well, it's only going to get darker. brilliant.

so you walk. then walk a bit faster. stop. listen. all kinds of sounds, including elk calls. thank gawd i knew what that was. otherwise, there wouldve been more uneasy feelings. i was a city kid in the middle of the mountain, the nature in its full night time glory with unapologetic moon. teaching me a lesson of some sorts. gasp. at certain point, i had to stop and think. okay. i know this trail. i know most of the big trees and rocks. the curves and the river banks. as i greet them in day, i can greet them in night. im the same person, as they are still same life forms. i am a small child of nature, if unfortunately kept a bit far from home, but still at home at this present moment. hullo mom. am back. yep, things are alright.

then comes this freedom frpm fear. what was i fearful for anyways? i have no clue. elks? loons? oh come on monkey. ridiculous. so i went. dark which is no longer dark but bright with silvery tint. full moon reflecting on snowcaps and river, rocks, trees, my own self. beautiful in limited shades but unlimited interplays between all of them. no wonder pierrot went mad with the moon. so i ran. you learn to walk quickly without your eyes but with your feet. as the shadows of tress overimpose on the ground, it becomes almost painstakingly slow to take cautious steps. much easier to go ahead with lighter footsteps with trust and flexibility.

about 45 min into it, i decided perhaps i should turn around, as there's no way they are ahead of me. so 180' turn back towards. and voila, there they are, banff ctr peeps by mama fir. funny enough you could hear the miles away then. ears got used to the silence and space i suppose. so monkey happily joined her crowd and later we were all joined by mr. bearcub, who had a similar ordeal- only difference is that he actually did take off later than the group. phew. but all happily united. so with chatters and musings, i came back to the land of electricity and hot showers. if somewhat reluctantly.

it is funny that we in general have forgotten about the night. all powerful night. magical, deep, enticing and often menacing night. now we just manipulate it as if it means nothing with flick of a switch. let there be light. being the mini gods of a small human cage, we forget what it is like. the flow of things.

so came a second night walk tonight. am still kinda cold- brr, but this time, the company was small, quiet and in all sense of the word pleasant. best of all, not planned. hooray. it is nice to have someone near by who also appreciates such beauties. and as a cherry on top, it was nice to also resonate with a sense of renewal, upward motion from the company. it is easy to say that one's situation will change and things will get better, but it is even easier to resonate with simple joy of another once you are attuned. how nice (and how grossly understated).

with many incomplete, stewing thoughts, the walk started and ended. both animals arms full of things to take to bed. stars. moon. proper night. ear-slapping wind. silence. company. fellowship. the full moon came bearing gifts, as usual, and boy i am happy to be so rich at the moment. good night everyone. finally monkey to bed- albeit one small stop at the shower for a warm-up. brrr. (well it is currently -5'c with windchill of -11'c. call me not a pansy)


  1. you're definitely not a pansy! there. :)

  2. And this walk was a great moment of life on this earth. Essential and rare. Thanks for being you.