IIt occurred to me during my little walk this morning, that I am not camping in the previous way I knew camping. I am not looking to “get away from it all”, go to my happy place as a way to recover from not living enough in a happy place, go somewhere to recharge and reboot, as an activity that I love yet cannot get enough of and that gives me the freedom and space to do the things I enjoy. I am finding out, as week three unfolds, that this all means something different now. This is living. This is my life. I am running to, and not from. I am IN my happy place.
I am not always sure where these epiphanies come from, why the lightening bold hits where and when it does, or what finally allows me to hear that whisper from beyond. But, I will start with what a beautiful morning it is here. Sure, the neighbors who work a local highway job were up early to get to work and the garbage did get picked up. That was noisy and unexpected. But, after they all left, the quiet crept back in and the birds continued their cackle, I fell back asleep for another two hours. I was in bed by 9:00 last night and not sure what time I fell asleep. I had a rough day yesterday due to some IBS that incapacitated me and had me sitting down all evening. The good news is that I cranked out nearly an entire book, rocking in the hammock and sitting in the sun. Not too shabby, despite the pain. By bed time, I was fatigued and ready to will it away. I must have slept 9 or so hours, maybe bordering on ten. I have some residual issues today and I will have to be careful to keep it under control. Perhaps a good day to rest the body, drive to town and just look around.
I woke as the sun was cresting the hillside. I am in a gully or sorts at a river damn-created lake. I cannot see the horizon, but the views of the hills and the water are nice. Because I could not explore yesterday, I made my tea just after I got up and took it for a walk around the park. There is a marina just over the hill that I am on and I explored around there, talked to the owner a little, walked out on the docks. Just an easy meandering, getting my bearings sort of stroll. Oh, and thankfully there are free showers. Once again, score on the shower. At least I am getting something useful for my money. I poked around, walked the entire park and back. The sun continued to rise and the few people here started to stir. It was nice and I did not mind a few morning greetings from other folks. We compared notes on cell service, or lack thereof.
That is the other part about all this. Another of my goals from my previous camping experiences was to get away, from people, from the business of society, from those things I did not like. Now, I am alone all the time. Especially when traveling in my car. Yup, totally alone. Now, I do not mind having others around and I am not craving being completely isolated at a campground. Sure, I get tired of errant city noises like traffic and barking dogs and screaming children. I am not a fan of that sort of camping. But, I find that I like having some people around. First, it gives me something to do when there is no cell service. Like built in TV, and I am sure I provide the same entertainment in return. I nearly sold a ticket to a guy watching me set up my tent the other day. Nothing else to watch except your neighbor. In my case, I can see parts of the marina, and I can hear nearly every voice, so I watch the folks bring their boats in and out. Now that’s entertainment!
I feel like I am not “camping”, per say, I feel like I am just living. My goals are different and my purpose has changed and what I need or want out of camping has shifted. Sure, it was nice to forgo a shower for a week or so, because I knew one was coming as soon as I got home. But now I am excited to have one around, though I still do not shower every day. I will shower the morning I leave, on the off chance the next place does not have one. This particular camping concept, this idea of the changed meaning, has just started for formulate in my consciousness. I think part of it is that I am staying at fairly developed camp sites, which cost me on average $20 per night. I realize some of you shudder at the expense, yet others applaud how little I pay. I can charge my phone and computer in the bathroom, which I am the only user at present. I cannot get signal anywhere, but I am not trying that hard. I will hit town later today or tomorrow for a bottle of wine, which would have been great yesterday to help with the pain I was having, and explore a little bit. I think I will have some more things to donate and that just feels good, lightening my load when I can. Tuna anyone?
I also realized that I had no guidance in finding a place to be yesterday. Nothing spoke to me, nothing jumped out. Radio silence from the Universe. That sucked. I am sort of relying on that vibration to guide me, and I felt nothing. What did I do? Turned down a random road following some random sign just because I was tired of driving. Here I am, about three miles down river off the highway at a sparsely populated little oasis. Hmm, perhaps that was the Universe talking after all. Perhaps I was just not listening very well. Perhaps I actually AM right where I am supposed to be, $20 per night and all. Perhaps there is a purpose after all and I am just too dense right now to feel it. Perhaps.
I will continue to let this “uncamping” concept wash over me, think about it, and let it develop and mature. I am still fairly new to this adventure, to this way of life, and I am still figuring it out. I am feeling more and more grounded with it, secure in my equipment and my gear, in my choices thus far. I am enjoying just killing a morning, waking up late, drinking my tea, having a little walk, and now the writing. Seems I just ticked off everting on my list of what I wanted out of this experience. Perhaps that alone is worth the price of admission.