Tag Archives: wilderness

Awesome Elements of a Campout

At a recent campout with friends and family, I experienced two different instances of incredible complementary polar forces: Sky and Earth; Fire and Water.

I felt drawn to climb a tree. I made my way ~18′ up a sturdy looking white pine and admired the forest. I zoomed in on the tree itself and all the life it harbored in and around it. I zoomed out beyond the forest I could see to the vast forest it was a small part of. In this effort I became in awe of the vastness of the sky, and how the sky overhead continued all around the world. Looking out into that blue sky I recognized that the same Sky was present over those in far away lands, and over all sorts of lands, that Sky watched over the wide variety of All experiences on Earth. With that, I thought of the Earth. The ground beneath me is solidly connected with the ground beneath all others on this planet, held together by the attraction of its heart itself.

After the sun set, we had a campfire going and saw lightening flashes in the distance. Sensing the approaching storm we setup something of a small tarp town for the ~10 campers present. The team work and adventure involved in rigging up tarps was a wonder in itself. Later in the night, soaked and exhausted after having fun through heavy rains, I sat with my love and observed an awe inspiring feat of nature: the rain pounded down on the tarps, on the ground, and all around. All the while, the blazing wood pile stood firm and blew flames high up above it. Both elements made a similar but subtly different crackling sound – the impacts of raindrops on wet tarps, ground, trees, and all that goes with that, accompanied by the snapping, popping, sizzling, and crackling of a raging fire which pressed ever onward, upward. The water poured down and the fire roared up. Where the two met was a mysterious gradient – I’m sure there was perfect peace at some place there. For myself, I wandered between being wet or baked by rain or fire.

Awesome. Bewildering. Simple – a Forest between Sky and Earth, a Space between Fire and Water. An Observation.

Severity

The man with the clear head is the man who frees himself from those fantastic “ideas” and looks life in the face, realizes that everything in it is problematic, and feels himself lost. As this is the simple truth-that to live is to feel oneself lost-he who accepts it has already begun to find himself; to be on firm ground. Instinctively, as do the shipwrecked, he will look around for something to cling to, and that tragic, ruthless glance, absolutely sincere, because it is a question of his salvation, will cause him to bring order into the chaos of his life. These are the only genuine ideas; the ideas of the shipwrecked. All the rest is rhetoric, posturing, farce. He who does not really feel himself lost, is inexorably lost; that is to say, he never finds himself, never comes up against his own reality.’
– The Revolt of the Masses