Friday, May 30, 2008


Camping - what's it all about? Read this slowly, in a whisper.

Silence. The open sky above you that lets all the stresses and noise of life evaporate and blow away.

A camp fire. Finding all the bits to cook a simple meal takes a surprising amount of time. This means you can fossick around and look at the sticks, stones, plants, insects etc as you collect firewood. Lighting a fire is also a slow process and sometimes beginners fail. A flame starts and the sticks catch and everything then is focused on the simple act of preparing food and looking after the fire. So the morning, being the first one up and getting the fire going again. In the morning chill, the breaking up of the sticks sends a crack through the air. Warming your hands near the flames. Heating water in a beaten old billy with a long camping history, for a hot drink. People emerging from sleeping bags. Getting breakfast and tidying up.

The early morning light rising up the hills or streaming down a valley, softly at first. Sometimes a river mist floating. Here, kangaroos hop nearby and often emus appear, doing what they do every morning. Sounds are all sharper and carry a long way. Birds call across the distance to each other. You are now in their world.

Maybe there is water - a creek, river, lake, the sea. Maybe it is still. Maybe there is the constant tinkle of its movement over the stones and between the reeds. Fish or frogs may jump. Reflections of all the life above the water can be seen, in full colour, on the surface of the water. Harmony. You can be a part of it if you let yourself. Simple harmony is very powerful and unforgettable.

Ordinary things from home become less important and even forgotten completely. Close your eyes and feel the air with your face. Time doesn't matter. Just be.

Pattie, go, just go. Don't worry. Get there fast and take it slow, really slow. And stay a while. No music, no electronics. Just you and a minimum of stuff. Maybe a book, maybe not.


Kate said...

Bloody hell, did I write that? It is so ....beautiful and moving and...true. I am glad I came back to read it! Mon dieu, je suis trop sentimentale!

Maggie said...

Sounds good, the water, mist frogs, sounds like life at Nirvana!
Hey! you talking to yourself, now that's a good sign!

Pattie said...

Kate: Thanks! Really beautiful. I like the thought of getting the fire going again in the morning (as opposed to the simple push-button of getting my coffee maker going each morning!)

I'll get there! I'm doing all the other things escept the actual "sleeping out there" part.