Tuesday, February 08, 2011

The Awesome Adventures of Dana the Ninth Grader, part 3

Sunshine hitting the exterior of the orange tent made it glow inside when Dana opened her eyes the next morning.  Kellie's silver sleeping bag was rolled up and stashed in its bag.  Dana groaned from all her aching muscles from a bad night sleeping on the ground--for the first time in her life, she got out of bed without wanting a few more minutes of snoozing. The cold air hit her like a slap on the face, so she dressed quickly.  If only there was a hot shower, she thought.   Dana pulled off the orange hat that kept her body heat from escaping out the top of her head all night.  She glanced in the metal mirror she always kept in her jacket pocket.  Not a pretty sight.  She brushed her hair and put the hat back on. 

After packing up her bag and sleeping bag, Dana retrieved some toiletries and headed out the tent.  Kellie was nearby, sitting on a rock overlooking a view of the lodge down below.  She had her camera out as well as an open small book and was deep in thought with her eyes closed.  She looked so tranquil that Dana tried to quietly pass by without disturbing her.   Throughout the trip, Dana sometimes found Kellie sitting off by herself either thinking, singing softly or meditating, like just now.  Dana was curious, but Kellie's quiet times seemed pretty personal, so she didn't want to pry with questions.  It was a sharp contrast to what she was like the rest of the times she was awake--always talking, joking around and laughing that Dana didn't know what to make of it.  How could an outgoing, talkative girl like Kellie be also so... spiritual? Dana couldn't think of another word to describe this private side of her outdoor ed partner.

Kellie's eyes opened, and Dana blushed at being caught staring at her.  Her friend didn't seem to care, and moved over on the rock to make room for her.  "Hey, Danes, I've got some pictures to show you of the sunrise you just missed!"  She picked up her digital camera and started to scroll through the saved photos on file.  "It was just so beautiful!  I wanted to go back to wake you, but if I did,  I would have lost the moment, you know?  And I would have woke you up for nothing, you would have missed it anyway.  But I've got the pictures, I hope you don't mind."

Dana still felt like she was intruding, even as she sat down on the big rock.  She took the camera and as she viewed the landscape photos, she concluded that Kellie indeed had a good eye.  "Thanks, Kellie--as nice as the sunrise was, I appreciate you letting me sleep. Great photos!"  She handed the camera back to her friend. "Are you serious, do you really want a career in photography?"

Kellie sighed.  "I would like that, but it looks like I'll end up being a senator or some big wig.  Mom wants me to be the first African American woman president someday.  Destiny calls, you know?  God's will?"

Dana shook her head.  Sometimes Kellie said things that sailed right over her head.  She often felt that Kellie dwelled in another dimension apart from everyone else--her goals were so lofty, but she herself was so down to earth.  Was she an alien? 

"Here, Dana.  Mom showed this to me last week."  Kellie picked up the small book laying open beside her.  Kellie read a passage from it that sounded like another language, only it was still English.  Dana saw her friend read often from it, and wondered what it was.  Whatever deep thought she was attempting to share with her, was clearly bouncing off her like a rubber ball against a concrete wall.

Kellie turned to the scene below them.  "It's about perspective, Danie.  What we see from this point of view is much higher--we see a lot more than we would from down in the lodge.   In life, we are down in the lodge all the time."  Kellie jumped off the rock.  "Hey, let's get the tent down!  I'm hungry--let's see what I can burn for breakfast!" 

Dana laughed as she jumped down, too.  That's what Kellie  thought. Dana was going to make breakfast this morning, just let her wait and see what real eggs are supposed to be like. 

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