08 April 2013

camping, april, creating, shorts, and thoughts

placing the cast iron pan at the bottom, then the tin plates, the scratchy stacked saucers clinking together, salt&pepper and olive oil, she slowly folded the top of the brown cardboard box; lifted it up, cradling the bottom (it was heavy now) she walked outside. A silt & sand grimed gravel echoed her steps on the driveway and she felt a certain satisfaction at placing the box into the back of the car next to the cooler, and the tent, and sleeping bags and a spare clothes filled bag to change in to. she thought of air in the quiet. and in the night. the air in the Away From Here. away from the din of cars rolling past the house, away from the chatty thunder of the constant freeway strangle.
she longed to have her soul up in the branches of a tree high above the traffic, air it out, sun starch its lines, then tuck it back inside.
             the boys didn't care, they just so wanted to go. 
             go out of the doors and into a new adventure of the  now.
yet the patting of the dogs goodbye, piling into the car, rolling down the driveway and out onto the highway always takes longer when there are 5 of you and you live in los angeles. there are just somanypeople.so.many.people.in.cars. their car groaned a bit wading in the traffic with the weight of all that they were carrying. when it finally picked up speed the boys were impatient. two hours of driving is long, long, long, when you know you are only going for a short while. hope itself seemed impatient now...in her mind, she kept clicking through the past week, and her hope, her impatient hope wanted to be there unpacking and setting up: tents, bags, pillows, casting things about in an iron pan. her husband steered the car up the coast, the car seemed to find a happy medium rhythm that allowed a bit of chatter, picture making, story swapping. looking out her window, she could see the hills finally unclogging a bit; clean and clear, rolling green and smattered brown blue of bushes setting the old mountain sides ablaze with spring pinkwhite flowers, untouched for the occasional horse or cow. & the car drove on.
             then they were there. rustling and grumbling in the backseat, a few tears of anxiety shed in punching another brother in the arm for he was finally getting in the other's way and decided now would be the perfect time to embarrass his parents while they were talking to the park ranger. but they were there. with small map in hand and campsite reserved, they drove the car up the winding road to see where they would lay their heads. driving up to their spot, she and her husband could see that it was crowded;indeed crowded. of course everyone else had the same thought that they had: freedom, fresh air, crushed sea salt waves lulling one to sleep. 
but oh, the crowds, there would be less of a finding of self here, she thought. 
as she & her husband pulled into the spot reserved just for them, they could see the campervans and the recreational vehicles and the neon sign someone insisted bringing along with their generator so they could have it flashing all night. loud & unwanted. and the grating music that, was so meaningful to the large man sipping his beer in his chair, but could be heard humming inside the doors of the car. 
             so she sat. 
             and her husband sat. 
closing eyes and breathing in deep. and the car sat with them in it, suspended in un-belief just for a minute. 
but oh the boys, oh the boys had already flung open their hearts and donned imaginary capes and sticks-as-swords clasped in hand; and feet, feet clambering up the trees with arms held out,  airing out their mother's soul a bit to sun starch the lines of it in the wind. because the boys, oh the boys didn't care, they just wanted to go.

well i guess, she thought. well i guess it is time to start making dinner.


  1. what a lovely reflection, especially your imagery of 'feet, feet clambering up the trees with arms held out, airing out their mother's soul a bit to sun starch the lines of it in the wind.'
    "How hard to realize that every camp of men or beast has this glorious starry firmament for a roof! In such places standing alone on the mountain-top it is easy to realize that whatever special nests we make - leaves and moss like the marmots and birds, or tents or piled stone - we all dwell in a house of one room - the world with the firmament for its roof - and are sailing the celestial spaces without leaving any track". ~John Muir

    1. Oh Deb, thanks ever so much. I absolutely love John Muir and I am so glad you gave me yet another quote to love.

  2. I feel the same - we go away to camp in hopes of peace and quiet but do not always find it. If only we could do like the boys do and create our own world where ever we are!!!!! A beautiful piece of writing - I can feel exactly what your words are saying. Not sure if it is the boys that seem the same or my mind has such a similar thought process - or maybe both. Also love the photos - they are a perfect match for a visual (at least what I envision). Have a wonderful week.
    Chey xo

    1. Thanks so much Chey. It is funny, I wonder the same thing! - is it having boys- how we as mother's of boys walk in the world with them? similarly soulful approaches and reflections? I'd like to think that it is both.

      I thought that this post was a bit of a stretch for my writing though. Having never written a 3rd person short before I am so thrilled you liked it and it connected with you a bit. I always think it is my photos though that save the day, at least for this post anyhow.

  3. What a lovely story! Very well written, I felt as though I was there with you. It's such a shame that places like that are still crowded when you're in search of a little peace and quiet. It's the same here in the woods on a sunny day. I hope you guys still enjoyed yourselves, it looks beautiful.

    1. We did enjoy ourselves, despite the RV's and the noise. Our boys often push us to make amends to situations that we might have otherwise turned our noses up at. xxoo


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