If you know my family, especially my mom, their version of camping is staying at a Holiday Inn. And while growing up, I sometimes thought that was camping! But, as I grew older, my adventurous spirit grew. I can’t tell you how many times I asked my mom if we could camp out up north. I just love being under a huge blanket of stars; it’s so peaceful! Plus, it reminds me of a quote from a book I once read,
“When I was little, I used to think that the sky at night was a big, black blanket that separates heaven from earth, and the stars were a whole bunch of little pin holes that the angels poked in the blanket so they could look down on us.” -Yours Forever, by Robin Jones Gunn
Over the holidays and my birthday, Connor set me up with my own gear for camping because he knew it was something I’ve wanted to do for a long time. This past weekend, I finally was able to sleep under that big, black blanket with pin holes. We took a trip up near Devil’s Head Tower, found a campsite off the beaten path and we made camp.
Connor taught me basic, Boy Scout camp rules. I helped him pitch the tent (except for the few moments to get a photo!). We laid out our sleeping mats, our sleeping bags, and pillows. He helped me hang my brand new hammock and let me sway in the wind with a beer in my hand. We went on a little hike near our site and we found a huge boulder with an incredible view.
One of my favorite things about camping with Connor was the talking and learning we did. Yes, we’ve been together for over a year now, but what I love about our relationship is that we keep being able to learn more about each other and grow with each other. We laughed, learned, and made so many memories.
Con built a fire, with only one match, mind you! A Boy Scout survival technique. We cooked dinner over our fire, which was absolutely delicious. Hey fam, you know how we say everything tastes better up north? Yeah, it tastes better in the mountains, too.
After dinner, we were sitting around the fire, listening to the crackling wood, enjoying some wine and each other’s company. I started thinking about something I had heard earlier in the day that really stuck in my heart. Being under that big, black blanket with pin holes surrounded by the mountains reminded me how small we really are. I thought about my Papa, about my family, my friends, and how completely blessed I am to be surrounded by those whom I love.
I learned a few things this weekend, but I will share the big one with you. We are only given one life on this magnificent planet. Remember to take each breath slowly, to be patient when you want to scream, to apologize when you weren’t right, and to tell those special in your life that you love them. Once you’ve done that, be sure to take a weekend and go to your happy place, physically or mentally. I found one of my happy places this weekend at the peak of a mountain.
Where’s yours at?