We just returned home from West Virginia. The house is quiet now, the unpacking of dirty clothes, of camping gear and photos has been done in a burst of efficiency. Max is fast asleep. The crickets alone keep my company.
Last week when I woke to my 7th straight day of a migraine I knew something had to change. It wasn’t just the migraines however that had me shaking. I felt like I was struggling, that nothing I did was enough to make it work. The balancing of work and parenting and being a good friend all seemed to be too much. I felt myself tightening from want.
It must have been the Universe who inspired my dear Jackie to call me and invite us to the woods. At the time she offered it sounded as though it was the only thing I should do. We dropped everything and ran.
I should know now that there is nothing that grounds me like eating and sleeping outside among the trees. The energy of the woods, the mountains, the river repairs me even when I am at my most frayed. Over and over again I rediscover this about myself. I am not sure why I forget so easily.
Indeed it was everything I needed to soothe my tired brain, my achey grouchy soul. It was like an amazing power nap, a kind of (in the words of Eric) reboot for the brain. I feel as though I have been away for weeks, I am so refreshed. The stresses that seemed to paralyze me last week have floated away, like leaves carried away by a stream. Joy is now running circulating freely once more–no longer stuck in the muck am I.
Indeed I feel the entire universe conspired to make this weekend perfect. The sky was the most intense cloudless blue, the air temperature was perfect. It felt as though the forest was in cahoots with our merry band of travelers. The river was perfectly refreshing for us. There were long stretches of little children laughing, shrieking, falling down from silliness. And beautiful moments of silence. And music. And endless firewood. And the perfect amount of yummy food.
Alone and together in shifting combinations we moved about the day, collecting, observing, creating. Each moment unfolded effortlessly as both chaos and community flowed as sweetly as the Potomac around the bend, rippling and bubbling and smoothing out the edges of our lives.
I feel so inspired in so many ways but I feel I cannot unpack it all just yet. I struggle here, tripping over my own bliss as I try and write about it, about the way I feel somehow knit back to together around my frayed edges. I just know that I am. And that at this moment is enough.
For more photos of our adventure, click here.