Tuesday, 10 January 2012
Communing with Nature
What is it about men and marking their territory? I have been astounded to see that even my little ones are intent on pursing this pastime at any opportunity. I am not sure if it is a right of passage, handed down from father to son (I secretly believe the Sweetpea would pee on me if he could get away with it, just to mark me as his territory too), or if it is something hard-wired into the genetic make-up of a man, but they need to pee on certain spots in the open air on a regular basis.
We went for a walk today through the most amazing forest, the path running next to a huge waterfall that fell splashing to the forest floor about a hundred meters below. The spray has caused a verdant array of lush tropical foliage to spring up, ferns and trees festooned with creepers and flowering vines. We walked along in awe of the beautiful surroundings, listening to the calls of the birds and the splashing of the falls, which at times became a deafening roar as hundreds of litres of water rushed over the rocks. The boys were wild with excitement, running ahead along the path, and then returning to us, rather like dogs making sure that their masters were following. It has been quite some time since we took them on a longish hike, and we were interested to see how easily they coped with it now they are a little older. The first walk we took them on, Peter ended up carrying them both, one on each arm (and with Little Miss Snoopy in the front-pack, if I remember correctly) back to the car on the way home. We got a few laughs that day from our fellow hikers! I think (although he would never admit it) that he was secretly relieved they were able to make it the whole way under their own steam this time. It was quite a steep path after all.
Yet, in the most uncanny manner, around almost every bend in the trail, the boys declared a need to go to the loo. Not only this, but when we said they could go behind a large bush to do their wee's, they appeared genuinely excited, far more excitement that would usually be engendered by a toilet break. The only reason I can come up with for it is that, being on a new trail, so to speak, they were marking their territory for all those who came behind.
It was a scene that will remain etched in my mind for many years to come - the massive, powerful waterfall, streaming away in the distance, and, oblivious to the irony, two small naked bottoms, and two much smaller waterfalls, spouting away in desperately futile competition. Ah, men!