Hello again! It’s me, Haley returning for my second summer among the trees. I come from a land centrally located, welcoming by nature, equipped with muddy rivers and sticky summers- Saint Louis, Missouri. In December 2018, I graduated with a BS in Sociology and a minor in theatre. My hobbies include engaging in deep meaningful eye contact, smelling flowers, daydreaming, collecting crazy socks and dancing like nobody is watching. I am mesmerized by words, captivated by the smell of lavender, charmed by the moon and intrigued by the so called impossible.
Antidotes by Haley, Part 2.
When I was a wee little Haley, my friend and I would pretend to be mice. We would scurry about the house hiding cheese to indulge in later. As mice, we typically had short attention spans which became problematic for my sister who woke up with squished, cheese-filled hair and sheets.
I am the youngest of four with two older brothers and an older sister. As a kid, my brothers would persuade me to do things by threatening me with hugs (My love language has never been physical touch) and my sister convinced me that deodorant was for my face (I spent a lot of time using her armpit deodorant on my cheeks to make them smell shower fresh).
My childhood nickname was Boo Boo. A few fables for why I got that nickname are as follows: 1. I was frequent crier growing up. 2. My father was a Yogi Bear fan (the classic “Hey, Boo Boo! Where’s the pic-i-nic-ah basket?!” was a typical chant in my house).
There is a small lump on my forehead from when I was 12. On a scorching hot day during the summer, my father, my brother and I were sauntering near the Mississippi River. There were small pieces of dried corn scattered along the bank and we were throwing it at the ducks floating in the river. As I went to pick up some corn, I whacked my head on a t shaped post. I fell over, cried, grabbed my head, cried, bled and cried and later made my way to the air conditioned car. Maybe Karma does exist.
I took a walk in the woods – smiling shyly at the twisted elm tree, nudging the spirited birch playfully, caressing the sugar maple, winking at the dogwood, shaking hands with the sophisticated sycamore, complimenting the sweet magnolia. The trees have a comfortable presence like a group of old pals. After this walk, I wondered am I in touch with nature or a little loony?
My mind often wanders. I imagine what life would be like if milk and water swapped positions. We would shower in almond milk, dive into a pool of 2%, and whole milk would fall from the sky. Water would soak our cereal, lighten our coffee and mix with chocolate for a delightful drink.
A couple years ago, I believed that I could train myself to not need sleep. Each night I subtracted an hour or two off my sleep time, and after a few days I passed out in the shower, quickly awakened, stumbled to my bed and slept for a day and a half.
When volunteering at a community garden, I found myself enchanted while sifting compost. After what I thought was 15 minutes had passed, the garden leader came over and asked if I was doing okay. Apparently, 15 minutes had turned into 4 hours with ease leaving me in a foggy after-trance state.
In 60 years, I will open a bakery.
I climbed the hill, well the mountain, after a day working in the fields. A basket tied around my waist full of coffee cherries, a warm breeze tickling my nose and a breathtaking view complimented me for a job well done. On the horizon my host family was waiting to greet me with a warm smile, an exotic meal and an atmosphere that felt like home.
One spring morning someone yelled, “Take a hike!” So I did and now I am hooked.
She sat in the middle of the crowd taking it all in. She sat there as people passed. She observed the human condition without saying a word. A smile danced across her face, and a small tear fell from her eye. “[She’s] a wallflower. She see’s things. She keeps quiet about them. And she understands.” – Stephen Chbosky.
Live simply, my friend! I cannot wait to meet you amongst the trees.