Behind starburst eyes

Our Epic Camping Trip: Chapter 1 (Growing our village)

on August 19, 2013

It’s been a couple of weeks since we returned home from our epic camping trip. We camped for 1 night shy of 3 weeks in tents as a family of 5 and it has taken me these last two weeks to be able to put into words just how monumental that trip was for us as a family.

I am still struggling to be able to paint with words an accurate picture of the precious moments we had as a family while camping. To begin, we started our camping trip with a friend’s handfasting and we stayed until the end of a festival we go to every year called Kaleidoscope Gathering.  After the handfasting we picked a spot and started to set up our campsite. We were right beside a gentleman’s site that my husband has known for many years. He’s a fantastic man full of a keen wit, massive intelligence, and charm. He also does not suffer fools lightly and has quite the cutting tongue should one get on his bad side (or so I’m told) He is the first chapter in our growing village story. I have met “M” a few times and always enjoyed his company, but for different reasons we’ve never really gotten to converse much. One of us has always been in the middle of something, or on our way to somewhere else. This year our timing was wonderful and we spent several evenings captivated by the lively company we found with him once our wee ones were asleep in our tent just a few feet from his own. He opened his heart as well as his space to not just my husband, but to me as well. An honor I was grateful for as I enjoyed myself greatly during our conversations both those about mundane and those about esoteric things.

However I was not the only one in my family that found myself seeking out his company and conversations, my eldest son adored popping over and having chats about a plethora of topics. I listened (okay I eavesdropped lol) and at one point my heart ached with gratitude as this man with so much knowledge patiently focused on my eldest and conversed WITH him, not at him, explaining all sorts of fascinating things that C was apparently curious about. Some I had no idea he thought of, but there he was asking all sorts of things and M smiled as he answered with brilliance in ways that C totally understand some very deep and introspective questions.

Then there was the time that M moved his campsite around! I’m not kidding, N has not fully learnt yet to not touch things that are not his, and because M wanted our whole family to feel welcome he removed an entire table with all of it’s accoutrements from his site, rearranging them so that they were out of N’s reach. Touched? More than I could say! M had no need to change his site, he was certainly happy with how it looked prior to his moving of said table, but he wanted N to be able to come over to his site with us and not get into trouble with me for not being able to resist touching the various items on M’s coffee table.

M’s kind words of support and encouragement about my boys, about G, about my parenting of the 3 were lovely gifts that I hold dearly in my heart.

We’ve been home two weeks now and I know the connections built between M and our family will always stay as deep as they grew during our time as neighbours, a fact I smile about as I type this. I find myself thinking of him often and sad that we are not as physically close to one another as we were during our epic camping trip.

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