The view from the hammock
The next few hunts went smoothly. Lachlan and I proved to make and excellent team. Work out on camp is hard and the days are long, Down time is non-existent because professionalism is key. We are both very passionate about each and every client walking away with a smile on their face and an experience worth raving about, but instead of being hard it was fun. I loved when both Lachlan and the clients would return from their day of hunting, always with an exciting tale to retell and a tally of trophies they where more than happy to rave about. Lachlan was often just as excited as the client adding snippets from his point of view and explaining terms or things that he knew I wouldn’t understand. They would hand me the tusks they had acquired with pride their smiles growing each day as they brought home more or bigger tusks than the day before. Then they would slump in the camp chairs cracking an ice cold beer and sharing even more stories around the camp fire, as I cooked them dinner enjoying the camp and the bush. The transition from day to night in the bush is a truly magical time, the bush “music,” gets louder and its not uncommon to see big trophy boars or feral cats mosey on down to the river, the sunsets are amazing and best seen from the comfort of the hammock, all of this adds to the clients experience because it is unique.
There is something exciting about sharing that experience with someone, when you can see the pride and excitement in their eyes and you know that you are going to be a part of something they will most likely share with their grandkids.
I found myself looking forward to the transitions between camps when Lachlan and I had time to catch up, the drives in and out of camp were always filled with good conversation and when I wasn’t at camp I looked forward to being back out there. Our friendship soon developed from friendly work colleges to good friends and it wasn’t un-common for either of us to text the other on the days we weren’t at camp.
Although it was defiantly one of the more exciting times of my life out on camp, it was one of the hardest times of my life at home in town. I was still healing the broken pieces of my heart and trying to find my feet as a young single mother. I felt I was being judged by those around me, I was ashamed and felt that at times I failed my daughter and the worst thing was I felt so utterly alone in this big old world. I am not the type to scream out for help or confide in someone but at that point I just wished for someone to grab me by both shoulders look me in the eye and say “its all going to be ok,” or just ask me how I was.
I kept yearning for the sanctuary of camp, where I could take my daughter and escape from the pressures and failures that were constantly being thrown in my face but most of all I yearned to be with Lachlan. To be able to talk to him, to share with him and to confide in him. Perhaps then I had developed stronger feelings for him and I just hadn’t acknowledged them, perhaps I had feelings there since the first moment I met him. I really can’t pinpoint where they started however I can pinpoint the very moment those feelings and my crush stopped being small.
It was one night, Lachlan and the client returned completely exhausted from the last few days hunting and the client decided to go have a few hours sleep before dinner. Lachlan helped me make dinner and we sat around the fire drinking a few beers having a good conversation, he has a wicked sense of humour and I had forgotten what it was like to laugh so hard. The few beers developed into a few rums and the conversation got deeper, I started telling him about my struggles at home and I am not sure how the conversation went or developed but at some point he turned to me, grabbed me on the arm and said “Carly, it’s all going to be ok! You are such a strong, intelligent, charming girl. Look at how many people said you wouldn’t last by yourself and your out here in the Australian bush flourishing. Never have I met anyone so capable of taking on the world, you are a wonderful mother and absolutely beautiful anyone would be so lucky to know you, I know I am.”
They are by far the most beautiful words anyone has ever said to me and it was that moment I realised why they call it falling in love.
And then I farted – possibly the worst response ever!