"Take chances! Make mistakes! Get messy!" --Ms. Frizzle

"Take chances! Make mistakes! Get messy!" --Ms. Frizzle

Sunday, August 29, 2010

You Are Here

The woods are calling me back. I think it's safe to say that our camping season is coming to an end, with the nights cooling off and the yardwork piling up, but I don't feel done. I love sleeping and waking with the light, hearing the tiny sounds that are usually drowned out by the buzzing of lights and appliances, and knowing which way is north not by the directionality of the streets but by which side of me feels warm. I know that many people are put off by the discomforts that accompany outdoor living, but somehow that just adds to the allure for me. Feeling the cold and the wind, climbing up slopes and wading through rivers... these things are a constant reminder of where I am and what I'm doing. Every so often when I'm inside a building somewhere it hits me that I could be anywhere in the world and would have no way of knowing by looking at my surroundings; malls are especially creepy that way. In the woods you know exactly where you are. You know the season by the weather, the flowers and berries, the angle of the sun, the constellations. You know your elevation by the temperature and the texture of the air. You know what is growing around you by sight and smell.

More than just where you are, though, I think you see who you are. You learn which things are the things that matter when you're carrying them on your back. After all, if it's not important you won't bother to haul it up a mountain. Sometimes I surprise myself with what I deem worthwhile to carry. Obviously food and shelter make the list, but I routinely pack things like books, musical instruments, sketch pads, even a kite. Once I packed out a very large rock just for the sheer beauty of it. As for Geneva, bringing toys is a complete waste of energy, which warms my hear to its core. The girl loves sticks, stones, flowers and water. I would love to think that I'm teaching her something important by bringing her with me into my beloved woods, but I think all I'm really doing is not un-teaching her what she already knows: she is a part of this world on a fundamental level. She belongs. She is here.

Mt. Rainier, June 2010
The Zoglmans and the Ledesmas

Spider Meadows, July 2010
The Zoglmans and Nita Morris

1 comment:

  1. I can't believe you can haul a baby AND all your gear! Very impressive, Superwoman!
    Beautiful pictures of a beautiful family! I wish her Grandma Lynn could see all of these....