Moon Veiwing on the IAIA Nature Trails

One night there was a beautiful full moon rising, so my friends and I decided to take a break from the collective stress of our homework and head out to the IAIA. nature trails and to make an occasion of enjoying the ginourmous new moon. We made several pots of green tea and packed up some mochi and arare and headed out to the north side of the campus, past the Science and Technology building, and on to the trail that leads to the hogan. There is a smaller trail that veers to the left, just before you get to the hogan, but in the night it is hard to find, especially when you’re concentrating on anecdotes from Ethnobotany to Art History and all the little dramas that play out in class.
We headed out like a wedding party of red  foxes in an Akira Kurosawa movie, except that we were a lot noisier.   I cut some susuki (pampas grass) for decoration and took it with us. Paper lanterns and blue flashlights in hand, we wanted to get our moon viewing on. We probably looked like a Hokusai woodblock print: the moon, the landscape and a procession of overzealous students. O.K. so maybe not a Hokusai print, but maybe a Jonah Hill (recent graduate of IA) print.
As we wove through the grounds of the campus, we continued by just following our noses and and looking around in the quiet of the night for the start of the IAIA nature trails. Was it sheer dumb luck, or the superior cunning ways of our collective Nativeness practically oozing and radiating from our beings, which finally led us to the beginning of the trails? Probably the latter.

We finally found the  trail, and walked all the way  down to the area where two picnic tables and the wooden structure  are.  It  was as though  la bella luna was being   rendered by different artists as time went on. Earlier,  while on the horizon, it was clearly in its  “Rory Erler  Wakemup”  phase: all big, fabulous and colorful. Then it went into a “Charles Rencouter” phase: big and stone colored.   At present, the moon  had shrank and was being very “Tressy Kien”””that is to say that it was giggly and fun-loving.

A few of us were anxious and sat down  (without thinking about it) on one side of the picnic table. We poured some tea and before we knew it, before it  REALLY registered in our minds,  the opposite end of the  picnic table started to rise…and before we knew it, we were no longer  sitting  vertically any more. It seemed  like it took a while for us to fall backward while the picnic table rose  above us.  My inner voice  actually had time to  say “Are you serious, are we really falling backward?’

As  everything that was  once  horizontal slowly crashed to the ground,  I looked over to my friend’s face and saw a horrible worried  look that I’ll never forget.  I could hear the muffled screams of other friends, as they watched helplessly in horror. Tea cups  and other things  arced  with us in this weird time vacuum in which there was nothing else we could do but accept our fate and fall backward…and so we did. When  I  finally landed on my back, my  first instinct was to push back at the table with my feet (to push it away as hard as  I could).  When we landed, there was only silence”¦

Our friends  rushed over to  see if we were  O.K.  and pulled the table off us. Then we just  started laughing! We couldn’t believe that what had just happend to us had happened to us. We laughed deep hard laughs.  We gasped for more air so that we could laugh harder. It was hilarious. It really was. Needless to say our little  adventure ended then and there. We dusted ourselves off and  walked back to the dorms. We vowed to come back, but to stay as far away from those evil benches as possible.


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