It’s coming home smelling like a slab of bacon, forgotten in the smoke house for 2 weeks that I missed. It’s the burning of the cheeks either from wind and cold or sun, 4 hours after I finally got home that I missed, too … It’s the fire pit and the cool stories; stories about people and their weird diseases they would not admit to when they’re sober, and “proper” in a dining room; stories about their kids, and the imaginary monsters or friends they have. Did you know “elephants” or “monkeys” can be code names for bodily functions?! Well, you’ll find that out at camping sites …
I also missed using … whatever handy for a plate when eating around the communal table; like the top of a Tupperware dish for a plate, or using a mug for your soup bowl, or a paper cup. Missed the creativity and simplicity of living … Did you know you can boil an egg on the fire in a paper cup?!
I missed the way food tastes when it’s “improvised”, and half-way cooked! Because when you come back from a 10 mile hike you really don’t care what goes down the throat… Everything at that point tastes heavenly, and you learn, again, to be grateful for someone else handling the fire and feeding you, even if all they do is throw every meat and every veggie known to man in a huge cauldron full of Swanson broth. That beats any Iron Chef gourmet dish ever cooked, I swear!
I missed falling asleep listening to the wind, and realizing that there IS wind and a whole world of sounds out there. Have you noticed how oblivious we are to Nature when we’re trapped in between our homes’ walls? Out there, you have nothing else to put you to sleep at night, but the wind, and the swishy trees … Crickets are gone right about now…
I missed the dry skin that you get when you skip your lotion treatments twice a day. I missed the long, hot shower you take when you get back home. We only take short, insignificant and routine showers daily. None that “matter” on any kind of higher level.
I missed the numb, sore body that comes back with us from sleeping on the ground for a couple of days. I never knew I had muscles that can hurt, in so many places!
And I thank life, and chance, and good friends for bringing all that back to me this last weekend! I felt like a slumber-full, barely awaken Rip Van Winkle. Only I was happy, not sad, to finally wake up to the same beauty of life that I left almost 5 years ago, when I camped last! Finally happy to wake up smelling like smoked meat again!