Big Bend, Texas
October 23, 2016
Today was a day of firsts. First bobcat encounter, first handmade dress, first message in a bottle.
The bobcat was probably there before I even got into the water. I was playing around, experimenting with documentation when I looked up and saw the bobcat. Sitting, just watching patiently with curiosity. I didn’t feel threatened, but a bit scared. I didn’t want to move too quickly so I stood up tall and looked at it in it’s eyes. We just looked into each others eyes for a couple minutes-maybe 5. It felt perfectly normal and majestic at the same time.
To me the bobcat seemed content just watching the river and me. I was the odd creature that emerged. I could have stayed there and tried to make friends, but the bobcat was in Mexico and I was standing across the border. I shouldn’t have been over there anyways.
I’ll remember that bobcat for the rest of my life. How he/she sat there so patiently with eyes locked on my own. It’s ears kept twitching to the flies. The bobcat lied down when I approached it and then stood up for a better view when I walked away. I didn’t want to swim quickly to trigger its predatory instinct but I really had no choice in order to cross the Rio Grande- a slow swim means a float down the rapids.
I’ll remember that bobcat because it kept watching me after I crossed the river and climbed onto the American bank. We locked eyes for a minute from the other side and then I wished the bobcat good luck and goodbye. I wonder if it has any memory of me.
Tomorrow I’ll walk upstream in the dress I made to remember the ocean animals and plants downstream. Next I’ll walk upstream for you bobcat so we can remember your life downstream. The border, Mexico and Texas, mean nothing to animals. Downstream though means their lives.