Three images from a foray into a supposed twenty-four hour solitude "adventure."
The tent looks serene, doesn't it? It was.
But it was also VERY COLD after sunset.I didn't bring enough sleeping bags! I froze all night long. Next day I told #1 child, Katie, how cold it was. She said: "Cold is a metaphor for lonely." She's a Smart Alecky kid. And maybe wise, too.
The broken hammer is yet another example of 'wrong tool for the job.' Trying to pack lightly, I brought along the baby version. I laughed out loud when it split apart. (And it reminded me of one of the first times we went tent camping with three little kids. After planning and packing and stuffing everything into a little station wagon, we arrived at the first campground... without a hammer or any tool to put in the tent stakes. Had to borrow from the guy in the next site. You make friends quickly in a campground.)
The campfire is the best part, of course. Always worth staring into. Its primitive. Timeless. Contemplative. . . AND WARM! It's one of the primary reasons people GO camping, I think. And, you can't do anything else while you tend a fire. Can't 'blog,' can't read, can't make to-do lists, can't sit at your computer. If other people are around, you can talk. But when you are alone, it's just you and the fire. It began to work its magic.
John Muir (1838-1914) wrote of one of his first nights in what is now Yosemite National Park:
"The fire smouldered and flickered an hour or two longer; the stars shone brighter; coons, coyotes, and owls stirred the silence here and there, while crickets and hylas made a cheerful, continuous music, so fitting and full that it seemed a part of the very body of the night."
He was a good writer. I was just cold.