The refuge of camp

Author’s note: For many of us, our camps are a place of refuge, where we escape the pressures, annoyances, and the noises that cloud our lives. The following article highlights all the best that is to be found in and around our camps.

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It is nestled among the smattering of soft- and hardwood trees, whose tops cast shadows enveloping the structure. Built well over seventy years ago, time has taken its toll as nature begins its slow attempts of reclamation. If not for renovating, it would have deteriorated beyond repair.

This aptly describes the camp in which I possess a half-ownership. A further appropriate description of this camp is that it is primitive, and we live somewhat like Abraham Lincoln lived, with a few exceptions. That being said, we have propane heat, a propane/wood stove combination, but no other amenities.

While there, everything seems to take a slower pace, as time is taken to enjoy the small things in life. For example, observing the trees whose outstretched limbs are adorned with a tapestry of vibrant colors, ranging from crimson red, auburn, purple, bright gold, and amber-hued. Coupled with that is observing the swaying branches, trolling the breeze with leaves wafting to and fro.

Additional activities that we pursue include splitting wood for the stove and  campfires. Accompanying this is strolling through the forest while observing the panoramic view of the multicolored carpet of vegetation draping its floor. Coinciding with this is enjoying the colorful wildflowers’ last weeks of life for the season.

Below are a few suggestions that could add treasured moments to your time at camp.

Prayer/Solitude – Take a moment, if you so choose, to keep in touch with God/Higher Power through prayer.

Take some time for yourself by reading a good book that time otherwise would not allow.

Decompression – How about just sleeping in with nothing on the agenda?

Find time to do something you’ve always wanted to do.

Journaling – Create a camp journal and expound on the day’s events. Don’t forget to write the date for these events.

Sunrise/Sunset – Sit back and just enjoy the day as it ebbs and flows.

Campfires – As the day wanes and evening begins, the darkness envelopes the last shadows of sunlight. This is when the campfire begins its transcendence of light. It is at this juncture that we gather in quiet solitude and openly reflect on the day, its events, or other matters.

Hopefully, these suggestions have helped because fall (which will not last) is now knocking on our door, the mornings are cool with the sparkling dew laying heavily upon the grass. The sounds of the Canadian geese echo as they gather and prepare for their long sojourn south. This time of year, especially for me, is the most pleasant, so make the most of your time at camp. Relax and enjoy each moment. God bless all of you.

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Daniel J. Paul is a retired school administrator. His columns focus on education, old-fashioned family values, relationships, and other topics. To submit comments or find archived columns, go to meaningfuldifferences.net.


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