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El Ojo del Conejo

(The Love Hare)

July 6, 1997

  Footprints - Salinas, 2002
As always, the couple slept soundly that first night in their tent near the end of the Salinas peninsula. The soothing call of an occasional coyote testified to their well being. For weeks they had experienced the deep yearning of home-away-from-home sickness and had finally given in to desire. Canceling weekend plans, they had packed their vehicle immediately after work, set out on the grueling five hour evening dash to their lovely peninsula, and arrived and set up camp in brilliant moonlight alongside the gentle slapping of a silvery surf. At peace with the world for the first time in months, deeply satisfying sleep had come easily, coaxed by anticipations of a warm morrow cooled by a gentle sea breeze and the guarantee of complete freedom from other human contact.

They rested peacefully until shortly before the moon set in the wee hours of the morning, when she was awakened by the sound of something brushing the tent. She looked around, blinking. The windows of the tent had been zipped completely down on that July night and she could see the new moon spilling its last diamond dust over the succulent-topped dunes.

What's this? Looking over her left shoulder, she saw a large furry body pressing against the cloth window screen. The big soft brown eyes studied hers for several moments, then the long cute ears suddenly stood erect.

"Wake up!" she said, startled; then in a lower tone and with more urgency, "Wake up, honey; it's a large rabbit! It must be four feet high with the ears!"

The rabbit turned, took a couple of tentative hops toward the limits of her vision and stopped, whiskers glistening in the moonlight. She could not take her eyes off him.

"Wake up; quick!" she persisted, groping blindly behind her. "It's a rabbit. Look at that! It's huge!"

Her husband stirred, lucidity slowly emerging. Raising himself on one elbow, he peered bleary-eyed through the screen. In unison their eyes met the rabbit's. Transfixed and breathless, the couple felt a great rush of luxuriant energy penetrating mind and body. Touched by his psyche, they sensed a deep beauty, a great duality of vigor and wisdom. Then the rabbit released them, turned, and was gone.

Overwhelmed and renewed, they turned to each other, embracing in a union of innocent confidence. Love welled deep within them, sweeping their bodies with the urgency of a thunderstorm, the tenderness of a summer afternoon rainfall.

They collapsed. . .and slept.

July 6, 1997



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