In spite of repeating the words, "I'm not going to sleep outside this year" to everyone who asked if we'd set up the tent on the patio yet, last night I was seized by an irresistible wild urge to get out of the stuffy house and stay out.
Certainly the move was not planned. I wasn't even aware that I would be overtaken by wild instincts when Bernie called on his break; after all, for the past two days I had been shivering and grumpy with the incessant wind, unwilling to walk out to the garbage can to throw the trash out let alone spend the whole night listening to the roar and rattle of the neighbor's huge poplars and palmettos. But then rather suddenly, the wind dropped. The sky was deep blue, and peacefully sprinkled with the last birds headed for shelter. Looking around at the overgrown shrubs and smelling the rich scent of recently-watered earth, I was ready to ensconce in the bedroom with a notepad and pen, take some notes for future projects, maybe read a little.
Instead I nearly ran for the closet where the tent was stored, grabbed an old sheet for a ground cloth, and bolted back outside, with Howie panting and prancing at my heels. He trotted triumphantly around the tent when it was spread out, getting in the way as I inserted the long support rods. When I crawled inside to settle the foam mattresses, I had to shove him back until I had the sheet and blankets spread. The minute, the second the quilt was flat he hopped in and curled in a ball -- not on my mattress, but on the other one, just as he did last fall.
Some time after midnight, I woke, wondering why the light was on in the bedroom, realized it was the moon, and smiling, went back to sleep.