Thursday, July 08, 2010

a girl, camping. alone.

yes, earlier this week my family dropped me off in jones gap with a tent, a hula hoop, and a whole lot of time. when i told people that was what i was doing for vacation there were mixed emotions about it, from "that is going to be so nice" to "wont you be lonely?" to "what! a girl in the woods, alone!!!!". this is what i found was the actual feelings i had about the situation once i got there.....

all of the above.

yes, it was so unbelievably fantastic to sit on "my sitting rock" in the middle of the river for an hour or two, without being talked to, looked at, asked of. it was fun to scamper up the hill to find my fire wood. i felt great achievement as i started up one of my famous camp fires in less than 1 minute. i soaked in the sounds, smells, and textures of the deep woods. watched ants run from spiders, spiders run from frogs, frogs run from me. i ate fruit fruit and more fruit. walked the trail to get water about 6 times a day, and drank all of it. i felt clean, even though my body was filthy from top to bottom. my hair was gross, my face covered in ash, and my feet were beautifully coated with all sorts of dirt, twigs and soot. my clothes, which consisted of a bathing suit top and my tore to pieces camp pants, were permeated with the heavenly scent of wood smoke, and the aroma de becky. i am not going to lie, it was great. but it was also scary. i was made aware of the fact that i sort of live with fear on a day to day basis.... granted there is some rational behind being slightly more aware of your vulnerabilities when you are all alone in the woods. i wasnt worried about bears, or bob cats, i was worried about predators of the human persuasion. see i like to think i am a self sufficient, do it all, get it done, i dont need your help kinda gal. to an extent i am, but there is great comfort in knowing that someone has got your back.

i had been alone for a while, not spoken to a soul, just me and the river. loneliness had crept in, and i wanted to welcome it for a change. i wanted to ask it some questions.....
just above my camp site on the trail is a little ridge that kept me from seeing over the trail. as the dusk set in and the smoke from the fire rolled over the boulders, i ran a mental inventory of the people in my life past and present. i saw each person walk over the ridge and into my campsite. i wanted to know what i honestly felt about each person, and why i wanted them there, or not.
i know all of this sounds stupid, but it was very therapeutic for me in a way. i saw my husband walk the trail, and i knew instantly i was safe. i was loved. i saw my friends come into my campsite one by one, and they brought new dimension, each one. i saw old love walk in and out. it was easy to let them go in peace. then as i sat there i realized that the one person i really wanted to walk over the ridge more than anything in the whole world was Jesus. i couldnt see him, i just knew it. the answer to all of my questions, the love that surpasses all loves, the comfort, the strength, the healing. i went to bed all by myself that night, but i wasnt lonely. yes, i was in the woods all by myself, but i knew that even if no one ever walked over the ridge again He had promised to never leave me or forsake me.
i had crazy dreams about raccoons all night. woke up stoked the fire back up for breakfast, and enjoyed another day of sitting in the sun on a river rock. read the last bit of the book i have been putting off for months, hula hooped, sat some more, stood up for a bit, and even went on a hike. i was glad to meet my family when they got back to get me. i felt refreshed, and rejuvenated. i knew there was a reason why i felt such a deep need for time in the wilderness. i am especially glad that i got it.

now to remember.

17 comments:

Natalia said...

*sigh*

rebecca said...

*kiss*
hey by the way, i freaking LOVE your new hair cut! the two little dreads you left make me smile real big!

Natalia said...

Where did you see them??

rebecca said...

rockys facebook.

gillian said...

i love that, sounds like in incredibly beautiful time!

Ren- Lady Of The Arts said...

hello- just found your blog- lovely post- so refreshing- thank you for the reminder of being aware of the people we invite into our lives.
nice to 'meet' you.

rebecca said...

thanks ren, nice to meet you too!

KristieS said...

This is my first time reading your blog, and I LOVED this post. Camping alone has always been a fantasy of mine, but... well, there are a million reasons I haven't done it... kids, husband, job, fear. Not fear of being alone, I don't think. Fear of creatures human and otherwise!

Anyway, congrats on your adventure, and I hope I can follow in your footsteps someday. You're an inspiration!!

Just Me said...

Wonderful post!! Sounds simply amazing - I've always wanted to go camping solo for some alone and quiet time.

Just found your blog and love it!

rebecca said...

thanks and welcome to all the new readers, it is nice to "meet" you!

Sharolyn said...

OOOh this has inspired me to try the same. Wonderful faith moment too. I think Jesus really likes the wilderness. :)

Lisa@VisionaryMom.com said...

oh yes, I would be too chicken to do this, BUT I am going up to spend a weekend at a hot springs resort in a a yurt, all by my lonesome in a few weeks.. REALLY looking forward to some soul searching.. love you blog! glad to have found it.

Katie said...

I don't think I've ever considered camping by myself -walking, spending the weekend at home, yes, but not camping. It's quiet when it's just me and my husband! I think I would have at some point been tempted to try and leave early, once the loneliness set in. Instead you accepted and embraced the moment. Good for you!

MadHatter said...

I don't think I could have done it, because I'm a chicken like that. You make it seem worth embracing the fear though

rebecca said...

lisa!!!! i wanna live in a yurt!!!!!
sara, how about we get adjoining camp sites real soon.

Lauren said...

Just found your blog from Sara's site. Love this entry!! I am jealous of your wonderful ALONE experience. Alone time is so important! I am totally inspired now. :)

The Freckled Marauder said...

Wonderful! Sounds so peaceful, yet intimidating for me! Found your blog from a link on the Happy Janssens. :):)