Tuesday, October 18, 2016

Camping

Life is so furiously quick. Days and weeks and months are flying by and I long for the slow, the easy, and the still. Not the still where you get nervous that your two year old just filled the toilet with all of the toilet paper.....again. But, the still where you can see things so closely and clearly that it makes you nervous you may never feel that way again.  Like in this picture. I looked at her in the tent under the trees where the sun played tricks on my very tired eyes. I looked at her and saw myself in a tent years ago daydreaming about what I would be someday. And in that same instant I saw the daydreamer in her. I saw the girl with all of the feelings and all of the uncertainty about how to handle them, but also the girl who is fierce and competitive and intense.



When I go camping it would seem that the entire point is to escape. The idea is to get closer to nature, and yet I love a tent. It seems weird that the tent would be the part I love the most. I have vivid memories of my sister at this age climbing on me and playing around in our big canvas Coleman monstrosity of a tent as kids. This is saying quite a lot because I have a terrible memory. But that spunky little two year old popped up in my mind as I watched my own two year old throw diapers all over the place and laugh hysterically. He is all adventure, all fun, and all mess. We chased him around our campsites as best we could, but when trapped in the tent I could just watch him be silly. I could laugh at how he marveled at our strange home with paper thin walls and windows that unzip. 



I didn't get a shot of Lila in the tent mostly because she isn't the type to just hang out in one spot for more than a few minutes. But camping, like hiking, speaks to her in a way that I hope lasts her entire life. She told me it was the greatest place she had ever been. As campgrounds go, it was pretty basic. But to her, the whole weekend was like coming home. It was carefree and messy. She could wear shoes, or not. She could make up games and shows with her friends and tell ghost stories in hammocks. She could roast the perfect marshmallow or just eat a ton of them as they are. She could be Lila without the expectation of anything else. 


We struggled a little (due to my poor planning) to find a campsite the day we headed North. Seth was already ahead of us and trying to sort things out, and once he finally got to our inevitable destination, he set up the new tent I purchased. It was a Wal-Mart special. This means that I purchased it just days before we left knowing that we absolutely needed a tent that could actually, comfortably fit all five us without breaking the bank. I don't love Wal-Mart, but this is the sort of situation it was made for. Someday we will have a vehicle of some kind that we escape to nature in. For now, this inexpensive beauty is just a newer, albeit cheaper in all of the ways, version of that big canvas Coleman from my childhood. Seth texted me these pictures and told me he was pretty sure his car could fit in it. That's when I knew I made the right choice. 



Seth and I love a good trip to the outdoors. In fact, if I had it my way we would live there full time somehow. Until then, Seth puts up with my constant desire to go camping and I think he loves it too once it's all said and done. We were fortunate enough to have some friends along for this trip, and it couldn't have been more perfect. 



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