The first half of this year, I had been grappling with the concept of Simplicity and how to translate it into every day living. A challenge for me as my natural tendency is to spin towards complexity. Even as I try to embrace less, I find ways to make that process, well, intricate.
My antidote to all the ills of modern living - especially energy draining distraction - is camping. There is no other process that pares life down to the core basics: traveling, eating, sleeping, keeping warm (or cool or dry or shaded), potty matters, and most important of all ...
On our recent camping trip I was the camp water pumper. We were given a simple filtration pump which - while easy to use - was not the speediest process. Filling pots for cooking, pots for cleaning, and our water bottles meant I was perpetually crouched down by the water's edge pumping and pumping ... and pumping. (Note: after pumping your little heart out to fill a large water bladder, it would be wise to stay squatted just a wee bit longer in order to screw on that humble but essential cap on lest you knock the whole thing into the lake, thereby requiring the entire blasted procedure be repeated.) It was refreshing to have one vital task to perform. And once I took care of that chore, I found it infinitely easier to sit back and enjoy all the adventures happening around me.
The habit to create Home is fascinating to me. Within minutes of setting up the tent, the area around it took on a feeling of intimacy and comfort. The few things we brought with us were all that we needed to complete this transformation, motivating me upon return to tackle storage spaces well over due for some decluttering. (Over this past weekend, I spent 3 hours clearing and cleaning out the kitchen pantry - it is a thing of beauty. Now to dive into the basement!)
I learned about determination from this fellow:
We found him on the trail to the campsite, quite a fair distance from water. At the time we thought (foolish human thought!) he was lost and so Cowgirl carried him back to the water. The next evening I noticed him bobbing in the water at the edge of camp, looking to see if anyone or anything was lurking about.
A few minutes later, I was startled by his presence on the camp trail! He was more peeved to find me and quickly turned tail, scuttling and sliding back down to the water. He returned several times and we finally realized the space by the fire pit was his nighttime sleeping spot, so we hurried our evening events. After all, it was His Home.
Like turtle, I can carry and create Home wherever I go and it need not be overly elaborate or intensive. It is more about intention and presence, rooting in and settling down, utilizing and appreciating what is available and honoring those gifts. Unlike my usual habit of working to create simplicity for myself, the way in is through nondoing: tapping into what is truly essential for well-being and opening to that. What follows is a relaxing, receiving ... and enjoying.