Post date: May 27, 2009 6:6:46 PM
I can't explain why, but from a very young age, I have been assailed with a listless heart - as if I am ever searching for something unknown. I have found nature soothes my listlessness in a way that nothing else can. For me, the experience of being outside can be likened to something spiritual - almost meditative. While many people say they need inspiration, I feel a constant bombardment of inspiration. My inspiration is exhausting because there is not enough time for me to realize all the creative visions I have running through my mind. Hiking calms me. It completely settles the constant existential questions that gnaw at me which nothing else can quell. Like the continuous need to create, I also have an ever present need to submerge myself in the natural world - to be where I can see the direct work of God around me. I can't look at the world and deny the evidence of something much bigger than myself. Something awe inspiring. Something great. It is here that I can somehow feel the affirmation of God's goodness.
Camel's Hump, VT
And so this last weekend, John and I took the kids to Camel's Hump in VT. There we spend 2 days camping and hiking in the Green Mountains. The trip was three fold. In addition to meeting my need to find peace outside, I also got to spend some much needed time with my family. Thirdly, John and I hope to introduce the world to our children so they learn some of the magic of seeing things grow, of studying the unknown, in understanding that nature can be a place for them to retreat. I hope to impart to them a bit of David Brower's belief that "there is no science and no art of greater importance than that which teaches seeing, which builds sensitivity and respect for the natural world, a world that 'has visibly been recreated in the night'."
We camped in a delightful campground where our campsite was secluded and had an incredible view of the lake. We let the kids explore the woods around us all afternoon and took them down to the shore where they shed their clothes and got in a little bit of BVD swimming. We wrapped up the evening with brats and s'mores. We hit the Burrow's trail up Camel's Hump nice and early and were able to summit. Seth did famously, hiking 99% of the way up - a feat for a 3.5 yr old. And both were sports given the chilly wind. There was still snow near the summit.
At the Burrow's trail head
On the summit of Camel's Hump
I have always been interested in woodland flowers, and was able to get some decent pictures that I will put in my To-Be-Felted folder. Cora found a fabulous Jack-in-the-pulpit that was all green. I had never seen one without purple on it - maybe this is a more rare species. It was quite beautiful, and Seth and Cora looked at it for a long time. We were also fortunate to see some trout lilies, red and painted trilliums, blood root, solomon's seal, ferns, downy yellow violets, forget-me-nots and countless others.