We finally pulled out our calendars. It was becoming obvious that if we didn't mark out some time for a camping trip, it would never happen. Between Jamie's work schedule and Bethie's time at the gym our days are fairly full. I pointed to a weekend. Nope. Video shoot. I chose another. Nope. Team practice. Finally we pointed to a Sunday through Tuesday slot. It was open. And so was the campground. Perfect.
Sunday afternoon, with two vehicles crammed full of camping gear, we headed up the Gorge to the Wind River. I'm convinced that the Lord went before us and orchestrated a special, memorable trip for our family. We pulled into the Beaver campground where the eager hosts were awaiting our arrival. They had hoped to catch us in order to transfer us from the site we had reserved online to the best site they had along the river.
It was one of the most peaceful, refreshing trips I've had in a long time.
We unpacked and set up camp. I love the process of making a home wherever my family lands, even if it's only for a few days. Site seventeen became a dwelling place for six spirits to be nourished, and I found delight in adding the special touches that made it homey.
The crystal clear river was just a short jaunt down the path. Part of the beauty of our trip was the way my children played together. There was no outside competition, either from other playmates or diverse activities. They had only each other and they had only the river and the woods. Their creativity thrived when those were their only options.
Most of our time was spent following woodsy trails and basking in the sun along the river. The weather was perfect. Not too hot, but just right for wading and splashing.
I watched my boy fish just like his Papa. I watched my husband teach the kids all of the stone throwing contests he used to play as a boy. My girls collected rocks and feathers and driftwood. Peaces of perfection to be carried home and treasured.
The evenings were peaceful as we gathered 'round the fire and told stories, the rhythmic rush of the river lulling us to a state of perfect contentment.
The food was good, because food is always good when you're camping.
The campground was remarkably quiet. Only one or two sites were even in use, and the occupants weren't around during the day. We essentially had the place to ourselves. The camp hosts delighted in having the children around and truly loved hearing their merry voices ring throughout the woods. I could relax. No shushing and hushing. They could just be kids.
Tuesday came all too quickly. We pulled down camp, and I ached as our home in the woods was reduced to boxes and bins. I left the vase of wildflowers until the end, then carried it back to the van.
It would grace our table once again when we arrived at our Vancouver home.
Because home is here, too. It's where six spirits are nourished, where we find comfort in the shelter of one another.
I place my own special piece of driftwood on the nature table.
When I angle it just so, it looks like an "L" for Lawson. It fits. And it's home.