For those of you who might remember, I didn’t come to RVing or “glamping,” with grace. I arrived kicking and screaming. While growing up, my folks purchased a speed boat and we kids enjoyed water skiing as a summer sport. However, we weren’t campers. We trekked it home at night to sleep in our own bed, use our own toilet and take long showers in the privacy of our own bathroom.
So, this camping thing – in a tent, sleeping on the ground, using outside facilities, was not my idea of a good time. After quite some time my husband persuaded me, with his gifted sales skills, to purchase a motorhome. Honestly, while the dollar investment might have been quite a jump up, for me personally high-end camping or not, I remained unconvinced of the fun. I used to call it one large outhouse on wheels.
But, somewhere along the stretch of Highway 89, on our inaugural week-long road trip, I had a moment of revelation. As we stopped for the night at Lake Powell, I noticed my breath was fuller. My mind less agitated. And my heart opening to the beauty that surrounded me.
Slowly, I became a not so reluctant “glamper.” With the busyness of the holiday season upon us, year after year, I found myself longing to be out in nature; to hike until my legs become wobbly. Cook simple healthy meals that the confines of the RV encourage. Sit outside under the stars warmed by the glow of a campfire. And find a peace and stillness that often eludes me in my everyday life despite my practices of yoga and meditation.
As I sit outside in my felt-lined Columbia Sportswear jacket, a gift from my son and daughter-in-law, it’s difficult for me to believe that today is actually December 31st. The sun’s rays warm and shine through the barren trees while the leaves that still cling to the branches sparkle like golden holiday ornaments.
About seven years ago, while discussing plans to meet friends for an early New Year’s Eve dinner, I surprised myself and my husband with, “I’m not sure I feel like it. Why don’t we take the RV and go away for a few days instead?” And the ritual was born.
And here we are. Sitting outside after a hike – Steve reading and me writing. Listening to the birds tweeting and scratching the underbrush. Hearing children play in the distance. Talking when we feel the need to connect and share. Just as content in the silence that continues to thread our hearts together after thirty-five years of marriage. Comfortable in the gap. The subtext of no words.
I recognize, since words are a part of who I am – that there is grace in the written word. Grace in the spoken word. And yes, grace in the silence – the sacred space that opens us up in order for you and me to hear the voice of our deepest self.
As we close this year, that for many has brought not only joy and laughter, but pain, suffering, anxiousness and fear, I invite you to find time to sit with it all. Yoga asks us to accept, not be resigned to, but learn how to acknowledge that life will do just that. Bring us the full spectrum of the tastes and textures it has to offer. Then digest and assimilate. It’s all grist for the mill. Compost for the garden of your life. We are continually asked to learn how to integrate it all into the daily-ness of our human existence. It’s the way of the tantric yogi.
As we move forward into a new year I encourage you to find time to be in nature, so that you are reminded that your true essence is nature itself. What I have remembered and rediscovered along the byway of glamping is that we are made up of the elements and we need not be afraid if we step out into nature and back into ourselves.
“You are made up of the steadiness of matter and one day you shall return to the earth.
You are made up of the waters of life and one day you shall return to the ocean of consciousness.
You are made up of the fiery sun that warms your bones and one day you shall return to the fire of creation to be transformed once again.
You are made up of the air that is the breath of life itself – that which breaths you until it does not.
And you are made up of the space of ether that is the source of all and that which one day you shall return.”