Yesterday, my mom arrived in Cali for a week visit. We decided that since the weather was so nice today, we would go for a hike. This was my mom’s first “mountain” hike. So we paired up with my California sister and her mom and headed off to Eaton Canyon. We decided to do the hike up to the waterfall (along with tons of other people). Since it rained yesterday, the water levels were up, making for an interesting trek.
It started off fairly easy but on our second pass over the stream, my mom lost her footing on one of the rocks we were using as a bridge and she fell into the ankle-deep water. I tried to catch her but wound up landing right beside her in the water. My California sister started laughing at us and said “you have now been baptised by the Eaton Canyon waters.” Little did we know how this simple comical moment would turn into a cosmic (or karmic) joke.
As we continued to hike up the canyon, my mom told stories of my childhood and all of my many quirks–one being how much trouble I would get into with the nuns who ran my catechism classes. We talked and talked as my California sister and her Mom still used the rock bridges to forge the stream–while my mother and I opted to just walk through the water (our feet and pants were soaked already). I continuously made jokes about how the waters “cleansed my soul”–if only I knew what was coming.
So we made our way up to the waterfall, took pictures and started our trek back. At some point, I wound up being the leader of our little hiking group. We came to a point where there was a rather large traffic jam of people trying to get across the stream. I just made my way through the water with my mom close behind. I was looking down into the stream, trying to avoid some of the deeper pockets of water so I wasn’t aware of what I was about to bump into once I reached the other side of the stream. I was just about to step onto the shore when I looked up and immediately froze, causing my mom to bump into my back. Right in front of me, standing upon a rock above, I gazed upon two Nuns. Hiking nuns dressed in full habit garb, carrying a walking stick in one hand and a rosary in another. I am sure that my face turned sheet white.
This is my life! I can’t even make this kind of stuff up. My heart started pounding and I immediately averted my eyes from the women I often referred to as “Sister Mary Holy Water.” I suddenly turned into the young girl who would always get disapproving looks from the nuns for asking too many questions. I ran up the shore and up the trail as fast as I could. I could hear my mom and California sister laughing somewhere behind me. I just started booking it as fast as I could. But in my haste, with my eyes on the ground, I managed to miss four more nuns headed in my direction. Four nuns that I literally ran right into, causing my California sister to burst out in a fit of laughter. I had no escape this time. I just stood there, frozen, with my back against the mountain. I only remember seeing a flash of black and white followed by a parade of wooden rosaries. I had an instant flashback to my days of sitting in a corner saying a bunch of “Hail Mary” and “Our Father” prayers as I made my way around my own communion rosary. I stood there as my California sister walked past me, still laughing, saying “this never happens to anyone else but you.”
Her mother agreed. They have been hiking Eaton Canyon all their lives and never have they seen hiking nuns. And not just any hiking nuns, hiking nuns in full habit and dress. This was my first time hiking up to the waterfall, I was joking about being baptised and then I run into six nuns. Seriously?
It’s like the time I was joking about the Mormons when driving into Salt Lake City and then my truck broke down in the middle of the Salt Flats, leaving me stranded for five hours. I had no choice but to return to Salt Lake City and actually stay there, delaying my trip to Reno by a day. You think I would have learned my lesson back then.
The Universe has this way of playing Cosmic jokes on me. Someone up there was having a mighty good laugh at me today. Nice April Fool’s Day prank on me, Universe. I know my California sister enjoyed it immensely.