outdoor slumbering & the meaning of ‘wilderness’

There is something magical about sleeping out of doors. It draws us in, inspires teamwork, camaraderie, togetherness. It fast tracks intimacy. Perhaps it is because being outdoors reminds us of just how human, how fragile, how strong, we all are, & unites us in that humanness.

It doesn’t matter ALL that much if the ‘wilderness’ we’re experiencing is only just a wee sliver, plopped next to a highway, so long as we feel that bit of wild within. I watched a group come together today in a way that a month of outdoor work had not yet facilitated.

I think it’s the outdoor slumbering.

I’m sitting here in my tent, listening to the pitter-patter of rain droplets on the fly, & the gentle rustling of the stream down below. It is a small stream. And a soothing sound, as the water dances past small smooth stones, and the moss on the stream banks daintily drips, adding its minute part to the ebb and flow of the symphony outside my nylon walls. The loudest part of the stream is a small 1-2 foot drop; clean, no real hydraulic formed, even in miniature. This drop is formed by way of a large culvert drainage pipe cutting through the hillside, just beneath an eroding road, padded with moss & pine needles. The small stream leaves the culvert and continues into some denser undergrowth, shading it from view, as it courses toward the highway.

Cars rush past, inevitably adding their din to the symphony turned cacophony of the world outside my tent.

But when the highway is quiet, I mightn’t know this, as I listen to the symphony the meandering precipitation makes, from my cozy place inside my rain splattered tent. From this perch, the world outside is as wild as I’d like it to be, if only for a moment, until the next passing car jolts me from my musings, from the wilderness inside my mind.


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