I did it. I have a real photo of us actually camping….outside….in a tent, in a sleeping bag, with bears. And I am forever grateful for the nudge to do something I have never done. How can I tell my son “never say never” if I say it? Many months of lessons continued while camping. It is amazing the lessons one can learn in nature.
Lesson One: Connecting and not connecting is important! Not having cell phones, facebook and blogs is not so bad. While, I was able to check intermittently while in the car roaming in and out of spots I had a few bars, the majority of the time was spent being present. Presence is a goal I strive for. It is more easily had when the distractions are eliminated.
Lesson Two: Family is vital! Don’t let another seven years pass without seeing family. We were in North Carolina, home of many Garland’s. It was wonderful to see my sister-in-law, brother-in-law and nephew. Too much time has passed but it seemed that we picked up right where we left off. They are still so loving, accepting and genuine. It was wonderful to have them camp with us one night.
Lesson Three: Protecting your baby is okay! Mama bear and this mama bear have a lot in common. There really are black bears in the mountains of North Cackalaki! We saw a mama bear and her three bear cubs. And the mama bear would have eaten me if I considered looking at her cubs cross ways.
Lesson Four: Nature is wonderous! If I ever questioned the idea of a power greater than myself on occasion…..being in the mountains removed all doubt.
Lesson Five: You only live once! I slid down a waterfall because I wasn’t sure if I would ever be in that exact place with that exact opportunity again in my life. It was cold, I didn’t have clothes to change into and I don’t think I really wanted to do it at first (gauged by the fact that I climbed the waterfall and walked down the first time without sliding after I felt how cold it was!)….but I did it anyway….and I am a better person for having the experience.
Lesson Six: Many great stories and memories occur after dark sitting around a campfire.
Lesson Seven: Never, ever, no matter what….pee in the woods in the middle of the night with your socks on.
A Natural Woman!