That may not seem momentous to report, but for those of us who went camping, it was nothing short of miraculous.
We’ve been camping on the weekend before Halloween for almost 20 years, and for most of those years, we’ve endured at least one day or night of rain, sometimes more. If adversity builds character, our camping character is extremely built.
Even in the rain, we manage to keep the communal camp fire going, thanks to heartier souls than I who wake up early to stoke the coals and throw on more wood throughout the days and nights.
It’s a wonderful tradition we’ve shared with a bunch of old friends – and some relatives. Our kids grew up looking forward to this “pre-Halloween weekend,” which includes a costume contest, trick-or-treating through the campsites, and a haunted hayride. This year about 30 of us converged on our usual spot atop the hill at Warwick Woods, not too far from French Creek.
Rain or shine, we camp on. (And thanks to my husband’s seam sealing, we’ve always stayed dry in our tents.)
After one particularly rainy weekend, I came home and – after a long, hot shower – began writing this:
You're never too old to play outside.
Sometimes it rains; and sometimes it seems the rain will never end.
Sometimes you want to pack it in and go home.
Sometimes a hot dog is the perfect food.
Sometimes you’ll forget to bring important things.
If you need help, ask.
Remember to look up at the stars.
If you surround yourself with good people, you’ll make it through.
This year we got to experience the joy of camping without any of the rainy, dreary parts. It was glorious. There is nothing quite like sitting around a campfire, drink of choice in hand, watching the flames and glowing coals, talking and laughing with people you’ve known for years.
I was so aware of the sun, the breeze, the light through the trees, the rise of the full moon – the complete lack of rain and mud. It was heavenly, in the truest sense of that word.
After so many years of rain, we had so earned a clear, bright, sunny weekend.
I wonder, would we have appreciated that clear, bright beauty as much had we not camped through so much rain and drear before? Is it partly that contrast that makes us understand the blessing of a beautiful day?
It’s been said, “In all things, give thanks.”
In which case, I give thanks for the rains past.
But I give even more thanks for the sun.