I can’t remember a time when I didn’t love camping.
It started in my childhood with my family. We would set off to enjoy a quiet weekend at the lake. The sequence of events of a cherished weekend spent camping has been honed over the years.
No television. No traffic. No worries.
Imagine wiping the sleep from your eyes and quietly pulling on some clothes to stumble out into nature. You are careful not to wake anyone who might still be sleeping while stepping out of your tent. It’s a quiet morning—just you, the sunrise, a hot coffee and the occasional squirrel that will jump up onto the picnic table, his big eyes begging for a little snack while his body twitches impatiently.
The fresh morning air is welcoming as you carefully open the trailer door to venture out. Pulling your jacket a little tighter as you descend down the few steps to the gravel, you putter around getting the coffee ready before checking to see if the log that was placed on the fire the night before had indeed held something a fire can be started from. The biggest log is always the last thing that gets placed on the fire before retiring to bed in hopes that there will be just enough embers to start a roaring fire in the morning.
Next, you rummage in the forest for a few sticks and dried moss that will ignite easily. You grab a few pieces of kindling that have been set aside for just this purpose. You ready them beside the fire pit in an orderly fashion. There is a trick to this I have learned over the years. Each step must be carefully followed. Your mind is quiet as you set to work.
The sun is shining. The world is still quiet in the early morning. The air has a chill in it, even in the middle of summer. The smell of freshly brewed coffee is starting to fill the air as the fire is coaxed back to life. When there is finally heat, you pull up the lawn chair just close enough to feel the warmth but not so close that you will have to move back once the fire catches.
You watch your hard work pay off as the fire grows, coffee in hand, you are ready to start the day now. Now you sit back in the lawn chair and enjoy. Can you feel that? Can you feel the stress melt away? The thoughts in your head settle down?
The sun is just starting to break through the trees. The fire offering a warmth till the sun heats the air. The birds offering a morning song to greet the day. A low rustling of the leaves if there is a breeze.
Yes, this is the life I think to myself as I survey my surroundings.
Reconnecting with nature is a wonderful way to let go of finding a peace that cannot be found elsewhere. The fresh air can wear you out as much as it rejuvenates you. There is nothing quite like listening to rain drops on a tarp or the roof of the trailer. I reconnect with myself out here. My mind sighs a sigh of relief as I drive closer to the lake where we will be spending the weekend. It is one of the only places it actually shuts itself off to the barrage of thoughts that are normally running free.
For this city girl, there is nothing better than really letting go of all those thoughts and worries for an entire weekend. Camping offers that release unlike any activity I could find in the concrete jungle. If you’ve never had the pleasure of escaping the city for a day or a weekend, I encourage you to give this a try. Just let the quiet wash over you. Escape all of the hustle and bustle of everyday like and just be.
And so as I sit and enjoy what Mother Nature, I smile at this beautiful gift.
The sun. The fire. The quiet of the morning. The peace I feel in my heart.
Author: Debbi Serafinchon
Apprentice Editor: Dorothy Hollingsworth
Image: Jenelle Ball/Unsplash