I learned so much from our most recent rec site backcountry camping trip.
Connection. That’s what I came for.
The chance to unplug.
To be with Onyx without my work / life / everyday needs + demands.
We went to a campsite I’ve never tried, driving down a forestry service road I’ve never driven, and yet, the same slug that we met not too long ago appeared there. With his arrival came the remembrance of a question someone I loved asked me “What do you do when you go camping with Onyx?” I remember first thinking with a sort of hilarity, don’t you know what people do? But then I kind of paused, jumping first to awe that someone hadn’t been camping, and then to the fact that in the middle of a busy week, I was a little stumped on what I did when I camped with just my toddler.
What did we do?
And why isn’t that our everyday life?
How can we merge the two?
Because I remember what we do now.
We sloooooow down.
We go back to a state of not having an agenda or an expectation of our day.
We lay a blanket down and stretch, in between frisbee throws.
We see what the river looks like from this angle and then we see what it’s like from the other side of the bridge.
We cook and anything we cook seems to taste better surrounded by trees and the bees.
We turn off our phone and lose the sense of linear time.
We start listening to our bodies, truly listening, for hunger and for sleep.
We return to a state of right brain wonder at the world, at the slug beside the bathroom that I almost step on, and at the feeling of seeing the moonlit forest glow all around us as night falls.
We step into trust and surrender instead of questioning and being afraid.
And then we - and this is my favourite part - we wake up with the sun peeking through the tops of the tall tall trees and I see a mess of blonde curls beside me and I take in a deep reverent gasping breath of air, and it feels wild, clinging to my hair that’s clumped in dreads and my beautiful dirty bare feet.
When we immerse in nature with no agenda, we change patterns in the nervous system and the brain.
We mimic the patterns of those that simply exist to be - the birds, the animals, the trees. We see that they don’t ask what time it is so they can eat or when it’s time to go to bed. They don’t question what they’re doing with every move or think about 75 possible outcomes about how they should be in this world. They just be.
I take in that wild breath in the morning as I stretch my hands in the air
opening my heart
listening to the water thundering in the distance
finding my eyes flutter shut
imprinting this moment
feeling the sweet sunshine dance across my face.
I selfishly gasp in all of the sweet wild air I possibly can because I am here.
I am alive.
And in that moment, I come home.
When we go camping, we come home.