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On Camping and Letting Go

Bridget Wood

By Bridget Wood

There are many things to love about camping. Immersing yourself in nature, wide open spaces, star-gazing and chats by the fire.  What camping also does, especially for city folk, is it forces you to get out of your comfort zone. Daily shower? No way. Technology? No reception. Any food you like, on a whim? Not a chance. Flies with your lunch? guaranteed.

But with this comes the opportunity to observe yourself, and how you deal without those creature comforts, and annoyances. Throw in the extended family living in each other’s pockets and it’s a recipe for lots of learning about yourself and each other. So what did I learn?

  1. Hiking the Inca Trail has made me very comfortable going four days without a shower
  2. It’s confusing being a toddler when your mum thinks it’s cool to get muddy and your dad is duct taping your gumboots to your pants
  3. Marshmallows. There is no stopping at one (and don’t you dare read me the ingredients!)
  4. Connection with my family is way more possible and effortless without chores and to-do lists looming over my head
  5. Kids really don’t need as much in the way of toys. Give them the chance to get a little bored and then watch their imagination flourish.

Now that we’re home, I again feel that low-level anxiety that comes with feeling torn in so many directions, having so many balls in the air and feeling like i’m doing nothing particularly well. It’s the modern dilemma of our time, and a hallmark of motherhood. The stillness and lack of distractions offered by camping in nature, holds up the light to our wounds, limiting beliefs, and paves the way for inspiration and intuition to come through so we can shine our light once again.

The stories we tell ourselves become our reality. In fact our lives are lived twice; first in the mind, and then in practice. Creating the space for stillness and observing the flow of life, holds up the mirror, just like our children do, on how we view the world.

Right now, it’s back to the work of life (while my toddler watches a movie) but i’m so grateful for the opportunity to pause, connect and reflect with those I love. Like the seasons, light and dark and the waxing and waning of the moon, the laws of nature show us how to live.