ah wilderness


Amy went on her first overnight campout last night. She'd been looking forward to the event for a few weeks. It was an overnight stay in a park just outside of Ojai, an event sponsored by the Lions Club there and put on for the benefit of kids with special needs and their parents. There was a barbecue and a singalong, and we all had a pretty good time.

For Amy, the best part was setting up the tent and hanging around our campsite. We'd taken the highest spot and had a sense of command of the place with a view of Ojai below to the north and a view of some other camps down to the east. The remaining view was mountains.

It was a little on the warm side, but we managed to beat the heat by simply adhering to the purpose of the campout which was simply to relax and have fun. Since Amy was so enamoured with the trappings of setting up to hunker down, all we really had to do was shuffle around like sloths and then go lie down and talk about how relaxed we were are how cool it was to be camping out in the wilderness. At one point Amy just came out with "This is the life for me" and we had to memorialize that utterance somehow, so we got a piece of charred wood from the fire pit and inscribed those words on a thirty-pound rock. We placed it at the entrance to the tent as a shrine to our indolence. We told stories, played cards (Amy's memory is incredible and she whipped us bad), read some books.

It was just one night. It was enough. The place was an hour or so from our house, we didn't have to do any heavy packing, and we we home the next day, happy, dirty, and ready once more to face civilization.

* * * * * * *

I don't have a lot of time right now. That's why the above wasn't very descriptive. If I had more time you would have heard about the way the sun filtered through the trees, and how, when the heat reaches a certain point while standing in the sun, there's that goosebump flashover and the last clear layer of cool leaves the surface of the skin, where denial or ignorance of heat is now impossible and the rest of the day is spent in submission and retreat to the shade.

But I don't have that kind of time right now. I regret not being able to tell you about the pure joy that swept across Amy's face as she surveyed her campout territory and took full command of her place in the wilderness. No time to extract the juice of energy that still flows inside me when I remember how she stood and, with fine focus, listened to the bugs.

But there will be time soon.

School starts September 2nd.


Today's Music:

"Cello Suite No.5" -- Johann Sebastian Bach -- Yo-Yo Ma -- YO-YO MA - INSPIRED BY BACH


Wisdom of the Day:

Take what you can use and let the rest go by.

- Ken Kesey