Wow, September is upon us and it still feels like July in my head. Perhaps the entire world should put aside time each year to copy what we’ve both done this summer. We’ve been camping our way across France with no agenda but to feed ourselves and enjoy each day.
This has taken us out of our ever-rolling thoughts, an addictive inner world society which encourages us to inhabit by feeding us with desires we take on as our own and which glue us to its ever-clanging system. Yet put us civilised beings on a desert island and we soon become quite animal. Society and it’s culture wants us to forget this beast inside, however, being detached from nature has caused most of the problems the world now faces. Acknowledging the creature within changes everything, for it takes you from your raging human thoughts,
Camping is a comforting way of replicating that island. Outside in the sun’s light all day long you become naturally more aware of your senses. You notice the subtle changes the day’s passage and the weather create around you, how the sun plays upon the trees, the wind influences birds. Your ears pick up tiny sounds, that lizard scurrying past, your eyes notice the light altering minute by minute, your skin notices the subtle shifts of temperature, your nose picks up the soil’s humidity at different times of the day.
Animal instincts revived, you feel content, you don’t need the plethora of distractions our world economy insists we immerse ourselves in, and thus we do less to harm The Planet. This our only planet. You yearn to protect that little sparrow, that rolling forest, those delicate river ecosystems.
We could all do with such a boost to remove us from the electric clouds we inhabit and put our feet back on the ground. This is why I once wrote a thesis termed, ‘The Value of Camping in an Education’. Education wants us to relish our thoughts and this is addictive, but doing so continually is to slip aside from the passage of existence. Being in our senses is being alive, for they, not our thoughts, surf the wave of life. Life happens now, not in our reflections on its recent passage, nor in our plans about its future, but now, here, only here.
Living continually in this fleeting moment has its problems, but doing so for a while has great rewards, you feel content, you fell whole, you are above the problems which weighed you down. You feel refreshed. You know you ought to put aside a week or two each year, a day each month, a couple of hours a week, a few minutes each day to relax into this natural healing space