Not quite Thoreau

May 22, 2009

I grew up going to the woods.  It was always a romantic venture, but the romance was just a part of it.  And if your family took you on camping trips every summer, and if you have had many experiences with camping ground outhouses, you probably know what I mean.  Nothing makes you appreciate modern plumbing and kitchen appliances like a few nights in a tent.

Even so.  I’ve seen skies so full of stars that they made me wonder how darkness can even exist.  I’ve hiked up mountains to touch glaciers, have dipped my feet in icy cold, glacier-fed lakes, have sipped camp coffee doctored with Bailey’s from a speckled camp cup while listening to my dad tell stories and watching the embers of our campfire.*

We didn’t go camping last summer, N and I. There was too much going on to get out our new tent (wedding present) and camping gear. We may go this summer, if we can whip ourselves into hiking shape, but the truth of the matter is that my mom did an awful lot of prep work to make our camping trips fun. A lot of packing and planning and cleaning and organizing. Much as I miss going to the woods, I’m not sure I can coordinate a trip with her same élan.

For now, we travel a short distance to the local arboretum, where I walk along paved pathways and watch the seasons write poems on the trees. Not too long ago, I managed to remember the camera. I found some tenacious branches, refusing to let go of their leaves, and thought about how I hang on to things, too.  I worry about this sometimes, but seeing these leaves reminded me that hanging onto things is a pretty natural part of life.


There were also some newly swelling buds.  I’ll go back soon, and see them in full leaf, and I will smile and sigh at the same time.  I am trying to be glad of the Spring, to be glad to see things that are full of life and growing, while letting myself feel sad about what isn’t.  It’s both sweet and sad to remember being pregnant last spring.  The smell of lilac and apple blossom gladdens my nose, but it’s now forever connected with those days of first kicks and talking to my belly.  Teddy, you are so very missed.


*This was when caffeine didn’t keep any of us awake at night.  The evening coffee was sweetened with Bailey’s.  Morning coffee was black.



  1. the turning of the seasons does bring back memories.

  2. ((hugs)) thinking of you.

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