I think the bunny came around the forty hour mark. So, I was pretty unplugged by then. That might account for my level of excitement when Tim pointed out the tiny creature in the yard. But, I think it was more that I’d never seen a bunny in the wild. Well, except for jack rabbits on my Aunt and Uncle’s farm in the panhandle of Texas, but they’re huge and terrifying not small and adorable. I grew up in the 1980s in the desert that is Midland, Texas and back then the only wild fuzzy creatures were field mice. (They’ve since gotten truckloads of squirrels somehow. I like to picture them actually arriving on a truck like itty bitty carpetbaggers.) But, when I was growing up, we had plenty of lizards and snakes and armadillos. Cute things? Not so much.
“You’ve really never seen a bunny before?” Tim asked.
“Nope,” I said as I continued to gawk at it out the window. The bunny was teensy and delicate. It hopped from one inedible-looking bramble to the next, eating its breakfast.
“I love you,” I told it. The bunny didn’t care.
We rented a cabin in Joshua Tree. It had wifi we never connected to and an outdoor claw tub. It was decorated in birds, crystals, and macramé. (To see photos, check my Instagrams from Monday.) There was no TV, which suited our purposes as we were determined to have a screen-free/news-free weekend. The rules were: no social media, no TV, no news. Allowed: minimal texting, using your phone as a camera (like if you saw a cute bunny or sunset or something), and using the GPS to get to and from the cabin. That’s it. We mainly left our phones in a woven bowl on the dining room table.
The first night was easy. We drank Kentucky Mules out of mason jars and played records. We watched the sunset from the yard and ate the dinner we’d brought from L.A. It was fun and relaxing. The next day, however, was a little harder.
It’s an ongoing fantasy of mine to be in a far-flung cabin with nothing but a stack of books to keep me company. So, when I found myself out there in a cabin with a stack of books, it was in some ways bliss. But, knowing I couldn’t check in with the rest of the world was a little crazy-making. The news changes every five minutes! I looked at my watch at 11:00 a.m. and thought, IT’S NOT EVEN NOON YET! I AM BORED! even though I’d been reading a great book (Edith Wharton’s collection of ghost stories) and was extremely relaxed.
But, a little boredom is good for your brain. By the time I saw the bunny the next morning, I didn’t care if I ever checked Twitter or Instagram or BBC News again. All we did was talk, read, drink wine, eat good food, and play games. I beat Tim at Speed four times. (He’ll tell you it was three but it was four, trust me on this. Besides, he beat me thirty times so I don’t know why he’s being such a stickler.)
When we arrived back home in Los Angeles Sunday afternoon, we agreed to extend ‘No Screens/No News’ until Monday morning. I woke up Monday morning relaxed, recharged and totally cocky, like, I DON’T NEED ANYTHING BUT BOOKS AND BUNNIES, NAMASTE. But, then I plugged back in and, well, you know the news week we’re having. It’s a lot.
It’s always a lot these days.
Monday I spent the day formatting and getting my book ready to go on Amazon. It was….well, let’s just say it was challenging haha. I got frustrated. There were tears. I may have called my computer names. But, I forgive myself for the emotions because, hey, I’ve never done anything like this before and I’m not perfect. What I am, though, is determined and grateful. I’m happy to be doing this no matter how hard it is. I mean, I’m capable of doing tough things like going 52-ish hours without my phone. It’s all good.
And, plus, I SAW A BUNNY, Y’ALL. I SAW A BUNNY.