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Monday, February 7, 2011

Nourish Me:: Week Two - The Happy Little Camper

I love the smell of Ducks in the morning. It smells like Camping.

Well, I would have done this post last week but I was away nourishing myself, wasn't I! Deep in the depths of darkest Lorne on the Great Ocean Road. 

So here I am now to tell you all a little story. It's a story about a woman who (very nervously) went camping for the first time in 20 - yes, you read it correctly - that's 20 years. And how she cooked outside, wee'd outside, showered in a communal block, swam (well, more like undulated like a dugong) in the surf, turned the colour of a small girls tutu (which I have renamed the colour 'Ow!'), roasted marshmallows over an open fire (and smoke really DOES get in your eyes), gazed in awe and admiration at the star flooded sky, built river rock sculptures (in the company of eels) and smiled with delight as her confident little four year old invaded neighbouring tents with her new little friends and roamed about like the wild wee beastie she is meant to be. The woman also got bitten TWICE by bull ants (OW! Fucking OW!) on two separate days and on the third was attacked by a vicious March Fly. It was...well quite wonderful actually. Turns out I AM an outdoor Kat after all. Who knew? 

Gravity has no power here...

Inspired by this magnificent creature (amongst others), we too spent an inordinate amount of time trying to defy the laws of gravity with heavy objects. Until small boys with no sense of awe decided that it would be fun to lob big rocks at them until they all disappeared back into the watery depths from whence they came. As Flight of the Conchords said so beautifully.."There are too many Mother Uckers, Uckin with my Shi"

 Ladies and Gentlemen, I give you...The View... (from our tent).
See if you can spot the Spirit faces.

I did need more than just a casual relationship with coffee mind you and next time I go camping, I will be taking my cafetiere with me. I had to keep insisting we go into Lorne itself to get a caffeine fix! Apart from that though and some seriously high winds, we had a BALL. 

I spent more time outdoors than I have in too long a while. Beanie absolutely blossomed - she's as brown as a nut and just loved all the swimming, exploring, building fairy houses, meeting new kids to play with - the whole shebang. It really is a magical experience for a child. One night we let her stay up with us to roast marshmallows over the open fire and see the stars. We all lay on the ground and tried to spot shooting stars. Then, tired and full of gooey loveliness, we trotted back under canvas and snuggled under the covers listening to the sounds of Koala's growling across the water. 

Oh! And we saw one. In the wild. Sleeping up a tree just at the back of our tent. Michael has lived his whole life in Australia and never seen a real live Koala in a tree in nature. It was spectacular.

I got a feeling for what it is like to live in community with other families. I met some wonderful women and their kids. I connected with others of my 'Clan' and I felt like I belonged there. I was reminded of what I don't see so much any more - women sitting around sharing food, drinks and wisdom while their kids do what kids should be doing - ride their bikes, scream, play tag, paddle in the river, play hide and seek, invade tents, dig holes and bury themselves in them, explore rock pools, go for stupidly long walks, swim in waterfalls and bring home small dead crabs. Not a DS or a computer or a mobile phone (no reception as luck would have it) in sight. It was so natural and I didn't know I missed it until it was there again.

I returned home from the trip feeling refreshed (though supremely glad to be in my own bed again - ah lovely bed, how I missed you!). The green, the sound of running water, the fresh air, the great outdoors - it was all a balm to my scratchy, battered, weary soul. It soothed and inspired me and I came back better for the experience. 

I never thought I would be a happy camper, but I am and we are now busily planning our next trip.

I leave you with more visual nourishment of the mirthful kind.

Naughty Toes, Good Toes...

Sand Mamma - I eat? Yes?

I laugh in the face of physics...mwahahahaa

So what's nourishing you this week? Write about it, share it, inspire others and remember to link it back to here.


Anonymous said...

How wonderful! I've been following your brilliant blog for several years as I raise my own 4yo wee beastie with severe (pp)depression & ptsd. I'm delighted to hear you've been refreshed and I look forward to my own time of self-nourishing when DP sends me on a week's SOLO retreat next month! Aaaah.

laura (warmthandlight) said...

Brilliant, hilarious post. A dugong? hehe, and any blogger who quotes the Conchords so perfectly has me as a devoted follower.

I didn't realise how much I missed camping until I heard you describe it! I'm SO going to muscle in on one of your future jaunts. You'll think you're doing the blissful family thing, and look over and there I'll be contendedly snuggled up next to you, waiting for my gooey marshmallow.

Nice to know we had simultaneous nourishment happening. Mwah! X

The Awakened Heart said...

My darling you would be welcome on any camping trip of mine. Here's hoping you can bring the ginga twins next time!

Moonroot said...

It sounds wonderful! I am so jealous - especially as it is most definitely Not Camping Weather here right now!