Just a hint of fall weather & I must go camping. I must. Overcast, breezy, kinda rainy & kinda cold…that’s fine camping weather. This month, we have camped out on our land one night each week. Our weekly field trip.
Pack the sweaters & the muck boots, the bug cage, the sleeping bags, the band aids, the wine, the camera & the kids…& escape. It is peaceful there.
Peaceful for me. It is a marvelous adventure for my little kids. Let’s see, how many creatures have been captured? Frogs, salamanders, caterpillars, butterflies, spiders, snails, crawfish, worms…& the list grows. All carefully examined & returned to its home unharmed (although terribly traumatized, no doubt).
They hike the big hill, following the deer trails & collecting buckeyes. They visit the pet cemetery & pay respect to Barley, Scout & Bella. Si always insists on climbing the deer stand & freaking me out, lord it’s so high!
They get dirty, they get leaves stuck in their hair & stickers stuck in their sweaters, & somehow they get water in their boots. Occasionally, they get a little hurt. But they shake it off.
We even manage to fit in a little school work. They find it quite satisfying to feed their finished worksheets to the fire.
After dark, they poke the fire to make sparks. They run around with the flashlight…& fight over the flashlight. They venture out into the dark to better see the stars; so many more stars out here in the country. They are loud & giddy in that way that little kids get when its much too late but they are having too much fun.
Out of their muddy clothes, into their warm jamas & they make a pile of cozy & cute in the minivan (leaving so little room for mom). They jostle for a view of the fire, but it doesn’t much matter because they crash so quickly. And then it is quiet.
I love sharing the wonder & excitement of this little forest with my kids. I also love the silence that falls when they sleep. Sitting by the fire with my glass of wine (er, plastic cup of wine) with only my thoughts. To be in that place at that moment…to be still. Quiet & calm & alone. Feeds my soul.
I hope to continue our weekly field trip until the last leaf falls.