That was the view from the bench I was sitting on at 7:15 AM the other day. It’s amazing what thoughts run across your head when you’re surrounded by the serenity of nature. When you go camping, people stay up late talking and sitting in front of the fire.
If you’re like me, you go along with it, and you’re also left alone by the fire way past the time when people go to sleep.
It’s quiet. All you’re left with is the sound of the occasional snore, the occasional cough, and the constant crackling of the wood glowing red in the fire. For some reason the flames and the bright embers are soothing; something about staring at fire is relaxing yet perplexing. It stirs up memories you chose to forget. It brings your to contemplate what your next step is in finding a solution to your problems. You open up boxes you’ve stored way in the back of your mind. Ultimately, you take your the problems, the grief, the anxiety, and frustrations and toss it into the flame. It burns and disappears for the night. You feel relaxed as you look up at the stars and listen to nature around you. As the flame dies, you feel relieved and decide to sleep.
The next morning, I’m usually up bright and early just irritated by the amount of moisture inside the tent. The morning dew is extremely irritating and the snoring and coughing that didn’t bother me so much at night becomes a sleep deterrent. So I’m up walking around the campsite enjoying the morning chill as well as the fresh air that you don’t seem to get much of when I’m at home. I wash up, pick up some more firewood, look for small dried up branches and go sit at this bench facing the lake.
It’s odd. Sitting there brought back those thoughts that I thought I had burned in the flames the night before. As I sat there listening to music and just staring out at the beautiful scenery before me, I started to think again. The frustration, anger, grief, sadness, and anxieties came back to me; it was almost as if they had come back from the dead after being burnt to a crisp. The odd thing was that they lacked the same amount of weight from when I had initially burned them. I processed them, tackled them, and resolved them. Something about the calm waters before me surrounded by tall trees with the sun hitting it just right; it seems to be the right formula for problem solving.
I’d say the only thing that made me smile that morning was seeing a group of four children accompanied by their father. They couldn’t have been more than four or five years old. They leaned over the railing looking for fish. Their only worry being that their father may not give them enough fish food to throw over. How nice it must be to be so care-free; to have no worries. Made me think about wanting to turn back time so that I could be a kid again. As good as that sounds, I realized that I like where I am now. I can sit in front of a fire thinking about life and then sit in front of a lake tackling life as it is being presented to me. Sure, I would love a life with no worries, but how would i grow? How would I change?
I feel like we’re always wanting to turn back time. I’ve also come to realize it does us no good to sit around thinking that way. Take the things life throws at you. Toss it in the fire if it’s too hard to tackle immediately. Fish out the ashes in the morning and sift through life after you’ve knocked it down a few pegs and move forward.