Monday, September 10, 2007

Escaping the City

There is something about mountain air that draws my heart. As we approached the mountains we rolled down the windows and I felt the weight of awe come over me as it always does. It's amazing. Every leaf, every bug. How can anyone look at all of this beauty and not feel the presence of a Creator? To believe that this world is a product of an accident is a shameful insult. The care and love put into every detail is astounding.

So, yes we went camping. We haven't been since my back injury (2 weeks before Jacob's birth in Dec. 2004) I finally felt that I could handle sleeping on the ground so off we went into the wild, all 5 of us. Gasp!!!

We packed the van up on Thursday evening. All the boyscout influence of my father and 6 brothers taught me to be prepared, or course. Travis works for a wonderful company that closes the office at 3:30 on Fridays to allow for more family time so there we were at the door, right on time. Selah with her magnifying glass and bug box, Jacob taking apart his very own flashlight and Lucas obediently respecting the nap time schedule.

Off we went to the most gorgeous camping site I've ever seen since Entre Rios in Bolivia. Sandy Bottoms in Rabun County. It's past Talula Gorge and Toccoa Falls. Seeing the children's faces at their first sight of mountains was like discovering their splendor for the first time myself. Yep, no doubt that their mine. We made the drive along river to the campsite with the windows down, soaking in nature.

Friday Night: Selah is Miss Serious as she helps Papi put up our tent. She's very concerned about getting the poles in correctly. Jacob is masterfully unpacking the camping crates without permission, desperate to find another flashlight since he's broke his first. Lucas runs around testing the borders of the campsite to see just how far it takes to get our attention and have a fun game of chase down the dirt road. Before dinner we walked the 12 yards to the edge of the river and helped them find stones to throw. Selah wanted to keep all of hers but Jacob was quite happy to test his throwing arm. We had chili for dinner over the campfire and afterwards I lost my "Mom of the Year" award when we discovered that the chocolate for the s'mores was still in the freezer at home. Travis wouldn't let me walk around to the other sites to beg a bar. Meanie. He hadn't camped before we were married so I guess he wasn't aware of the unspoken code of hospitality among campers. Oh well. Submissive wife that I am, I settled for roasted marshmallows on their own.

Saturday Morning: Lucas, snuggling in with me, is the first one up and ecstatic at finding himself out of a crib. He immediately runs to the other side of the tent to start attacking his brother and sister in their sleeping bags. After a good long game of tickle-tackle and general rough housing with mom and dad we set out to make biscuits, scrambled eggs and sausage for breakfast. Yes, I do real food on camping trips I admit that I did breakdown and buy a camp stove for this trip but we didn't use it until Saturday night. After breakfast we set up hammocks for the kids while we cleaned up and packed a picnic for camping. We were waiting for Jesse and Reona to show up (the kids' godparents) with their Zoe so we drove down the mountain like traitors to Walmart for Chocolate and warmer PJs for the kids. Back we came and ate lunch since the others weren't there yet. They showed up and we quickly took off for a good hike to wear out the kids. Didn't work. Too much excitement to nap so Jesse and Travis took the older ones to the river next to the site and let them play around jumping in off of rocks. NOT something Mom would do, but they loved it.

Saturday evening I made fajitas and we put the kids to bed early, but not before the long awaited S'mores were made. Jacob couldn't help feeding the fire at every turn and at one point it was bigger than him. Must teach him how to pace himself... After the kids went down we adults played cards for awhile and relaxed next to the fire. The last time we had camped together was when only Selah was around. Now here they were with their own little munchkin and us with 3. Wow.

Sunday Morning: Jesse and Travis made the pancakes and sausage so I took some quiet time in the hammock. Not without several interruptions of 'Momma can I cuddle you?" Who could say no to that. I lay there looking at the sky through the trees, listening to the river rushing by a few feet away and felt thankful. So thankful I couldn't even think of words for a specific prayer. Just thankful for the blessing of being. Humbled by the honor of life as a wife/mother/friend to the most amazing people I know. Thankful that God chose me to be me. Oh, and that he made mountains and river.

My Spiritual Discovery for the Weekend:

I always find some sort of enlightenment through times away. As we spent every moment alone with our children I caught myself at one point about to say the typical "and God made all of this beauty and nature of Earth for us." That's what my parents always said, and many other parents that I know. I stopped for a second as reality hit. No He didn't. God made us last. He made plants and animals first. He made nature in all it's glory and WE are the afterthought. It was a humbling realization of how self centered we are and how we really do believe this universe revolves around us. It doesn't. Being stewards of His earth is an honor. Our disrespect for it is shameful. I felt small and helpless in a healthy way, I think. How lucky are we that he let us live here.

Photos to follow

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