I am still in the throes of the ‘mad laundress’ persona at present. The aftermath of camping. The cleanup and the reorganizing as we all contract to fit back into our home and our lives after a few days of knowing no boundaries. This can easily become a chore but I am striving to allow it to be a reminder of how much we have, what is here to come back to and more importantly what we really need. What I was lucky enough to see and feel on this trip outweighs the work on our return. We stretched and we grew, together.
I had not camped for an entire decade. My last experience was not pleasant. It seems, though, that I had locked away the unpleasantness as resulting exclusively from the environment rather than that combined with poor company. Company being a horde of nasty mosquitos and one miserable (now ex-) husband. Caught by association, I neglected the green forests of B.C. regardless of their majesty. I chose instead to slumber on synthetics piled high within 4 solid walls and thankfully, I chose much better company along the way. But circumstance intervened and now I was faced with the proposition: To camp or not to camp?
So I sat in front of my Mac considering our inaugural camping trip. (‘Glamping’ to be more accurate as we would be navigating the Crows Nest Highway with 19 feet of RV trailer in tow.) With children ages just shy of 2 and 5, was I nuts? Did I really need to accentuate the challenges of every day by adding a lack of running water and electricity? Aw heck, why not?
And so we went and we survived and we all loved it. Most shockingly, I adored it. Turns out the Gladstone provincial campsite was kind enough to add hot, free showers to their repertoire. That helped. A lot. The pristine, warm water of Christina Lake was exquisite, healing and the perfect remedy for the August heat. My children were so content to be floated about in inflatable boats, marvelling at the mountains, boats and other swimmers. They laughed and ran and made new friends at other campsites. Their inhibition was quite the catalyst for new friendships, as they walked right onto other sites and sat down at neighbors picnic tables. I was apologetic but got waved to join in and stay. Here they were, my children, showing me the way to change and grow. They engaged with other families and helped me see that, in fact, one of the joys of camping comes from a sense of community. Us against nature!
So although it is so much easier to say ‘no’, we revelled in the experience of ‘yes’. We attempted. We experienced it together and will have stories to tell. Some things worked very well (loving the shower option) and others did not (10hrs of driving in one day). We stretched beyond the known into the unknown. I hope to show them more of this in the future. Mommy should not be so rigid in her ways. Never say never…
Though what is unknown is beyond us, what is familiar is in danger of being taken for granted. And we live in between, on the edge of what we know. This is the edge between today and tomorrow, between our foundation and our tenuous growth. How we relate to this edge is crucial, another life skill not addressed in school.” Mark Nepo – Seven Thousand Ways to Listen