After days of not blogging, and only being able to use my laptop for doing so called useful things, like: Homework (BAH, Do I really care about the mechanism of mandates or worse yet budget notes? um. not a this time. no.). I’m almost paralyzed by the blankness of this page. I have nothing of interest to report. I was away, from my life. I didn’t blog, I didn’t run, I did quilt….( I have a problem) but I was not interviewed by Good Morning America, nor did I get a new kitty. (really Kasmira, I think you have a P-R-O-B-L-E-M).
What I did do, was spend a weekend in the woods. The same woods I have spent the last fifteen Memorial Day Weekends in, with a conglomeration of friends, so strange, and mismatched, that they can only be described by one word. Family.
This Family has been meeting in the same woods for 35 years. Thirty-five years. That is longer than a lot of people stay in touch or married. I could rhapsodize for many moons about what makes this Family special, unconditional love, un ending supplies of food, an ability to set up a tarp in 22 minutes during a downpour (Oregon sunshine).
I could bore you to tears with the reasons we all go back every year: guitar music around the campfire in the rain, red wine and brie around another damp fire, s’mores in the rain, beach walks in the rain, waking up damp and starting a fire in the rain (did I mention the rain?).
I could go on and on about these people, and their kids, and their kids ‘ kids, all of whom come faithfully each year, braving the damp bottoms and the wet socks, all of whom nod optimistically with whomever says …”I don’t know, it looks like it’s burning off” all the while clutching their coffee/cocoa/tea and shivering.
But I won’t. Because you don’t have the kind of time I need, to talk about each and every one of those people, and how they have made each other family, and how they have taken me in and made me family.
Instead I will tell you about a five hour car trip, with a fifteen month old, to whom the word Mamamamama!!! means feed me another cracker! next to a Man, who needs a haircut. I’ll gloss over the meaningless, and meaningful conversations we had, and focus on stroking the long curls on his head.
Instead I’ll tell you about how being around a group of people who for one weekend, suspend reality and lead you to believe that life can be what you make of it, if only we just lived in the woods, without clocks, or schedules, and with plenty of food and laughter and love.
I’ll tell you about how being around people who have made the same commitment to each other every year for 35 years, makes you happy to be alive, and happier to be a part of their magic.
I’ll tell you about lying in your tent, cuddling your baby and listening to the sounds of guitars and fifty people, family, friends, mothers, fathers, daughters, sons, husbands, wives singing the songs we sing each year and feeling the peace you feel when you are wrapped in the loving arms of your family.
I’ll let you think about the journey, each year of rediscovery. Of remembering who you are, why you are, and who you love. And I’ll tell you about how happy I am to zip my sleeping bag to The Man’s sleeping bag and curl up between him and our baby boy, and fall asleep. In the woods. Surrounded by Family.