A True Passion
It’s 3:30 in the morning and the alarm from my iPhone is echoing in the bedroom. It’s pitch black but the light from the phone fills the room. I look at the phone and immediately sit up, turn off the alarm and energetically slide myself out of bed. On any other day the snooze button on the screen would have been touched more than a dozen times by now. But not today. I have waited all year for this day. As i walk to the bathroom even with two pairs of socks on my feet i could feel the freezing chill of the marble floor beneath me. I turn on the tap and the water stings my hands and face, it takes my breathe away for a moment because it’s so cold. I brush my teeth and wonder for a second “why doesn’t the toothpaste freeze?” No matter. i finish up really quickly, pop into the kitchen, put the old kettle on the burner and drop a couple of bags of tea in there.
“C’mon let’s go, we’re gonna be late” I shout at my friends as they try to squeeze in a last minute of sleep before getting up. After we put on about what seems to be a hundred layers of clothes we meet up in the kitchen for some tea before our long day begins. We make sliced cheese sandwiches and lightly toast them on a traditional Lebanese wood-heater that’s keeping the kitchen incredibly warm. We try to stay optimistic by telling each other, “it’s going to be a good day today” – “the weather seemed just perfect last night, so today has to be good”.
After all the small talk has been muttered, the last drop of tea drunk and the last cigarette butt put out, we head to the car. The car is freezing and no matter how warm you feel it is impossible to control your shivering, but it’s all worth it. As we head out of the driveway I notice that as usual we are the only one’s on the road, the whole town is asleep and it is somewhat calming and exciting at the same time. After about a half-hour drive, we reach our destination. This is where we were exactly one year ago, i remember that tree was there and that boulder was right under it, it’s a perfect spot. We get out of the car and the cold just seems to pierce through 100 layers of clothing as if they were nothing. But it’s all worth it and it has become part of the experience which I love.
We all start getting our gear out of the car and then take out the shotguns. We slowly walk to equal distances from each other in the fading moonlight and then we wait. We wait for the dawn and with every approaching minute of the light i am surprised that I am able to contain all my excitement. I take a deep breath of the fresh forest air and i know in that moment for that day, there are very few places I’d rather be right now than here.
As the dawn rises I take the safety off my shotgun and i tell myself “it’s going to be a good day of bird hunting today, it’s going to be a good day”
This is not just “something I do” once a year, it is my true passion.