This past summer I spent several weeks camping and hiking through the woods with a dog named Kaos. I desperately crave the time and space of walking in silence with nature as I quench my thirst for peace and tranquility. Trees and water satisfy my thirst and this particular morning as we trekked through the woods we came across this mini waterfall. As I crouched down to get this picture the spray of the water felt cool on my skin. It was a tough picture to take because I had to hold Kaos back with one hand while taking the picture. No sooner had I taken the picture, Kaos leaped through the air and ran through the water like an innocent child quenching his thirst for purity and playfulness.
I’m a city girl by birth but a country girl by nature. Whenever I get out of the city my breathing is slower, my mind is sharper, I lose the tension in my body and I sleep deeper.
When I was young I desperately wanted to go camping as nature was a way for me to survive as a child. I escaped tension and dysfunction by walking out the front door to chase honey bees, grasshoppers, frogs, spiders and snakes. My mother would have nothing to do with camping, so as soon as I was old enough I bought all my gear and headed outdoors.
When I met my husband his family owned a rustic cabin in the mountains. I enjoyed the cabin life but I was itching to get back out camping. Life got busy with marriage and babies and I didn’t see the inside of a tent for a few years. We spent time at the cabin so I was getting my country fix but I wanted to get back out camping. My husband’s response to camping was “why would I go camping when I can stay in a cabin.”
After our second child was born I talked Drew into camping. We booked a week at a campground in the mountains. No electricity, water at the pump stations and a nylon roof over our heads for shelter. Brendan was three years old and Matt was 9 months. Both boys were in diapers and I was still breast feeding Matt. Drew hated it but I loved it, it felt so good to be sleeping under the stars and I was happy we were introducing the boys to a different way of life; a life of purity and simplicity.
Even though Drew hated it, we made plans to camp every year and every year I added a few more days to our trip. As the boys got older and could walk further we added hiking and fishing. In time finances got better funding a small trailer and eventually we upgraded to a fifth wheel. With the trailer Drew became more enamored with the idea of camping and we started expanding our camping with trips down the coast and up into the interior. This year we are back where it all started, the campground in the mountains, and the boys are excited. Drew looks forward to our annual camping trips and no longer dreads the thought of camping.
To get away from the strains of our jobs, the tension in the city and the views of society is refreshing and uplifting and every year it gets harder to leave the simplicity of the trees and return to the concrete jungle. The camping life is my gift to the boys and I hope they continue the tradition of the simple life with their own families.