The Girl With The Campfire Hair

This past weekend, we went on a family camping trip. Which means, our little family met up with Rav's family (his parents, their dogs, two of his brothers, and our nieces and nephew).

To be perfectly honest, I was not looking forward to a 5 hour car ride and camping with our two kids. I was not looking forward to this trip. But it was the only time we could get away & I thought the break might be nice.

I packed and baked goodies and made chicken salad with a heavy, heavy mind.
In fact, there was a breakdown thrown in for good measure.
A fit of crying, and questioning, and the throwing of hands up in the air.
All the while, Rav let me do it. He watched, he sat quietly, he let me air my crazies out.
And as always, he remained cool. Perfectly calm.
He knows how to ride out storms like a pro.

Once I purged my mental toxins, I felt a little better.
And upon piling in the car, I was even feeling happy.

The set-up of our Ravioli tent city went pretty smoothly considering there were 2 dogs, 4 kids under the age of 6 and one 8 month old.

The evening met with much throwing back of bottled adult beverages, a tidy campfire, and Rav & his brother playing guitar and singing.
And I just sat quietly.
Willing myself to shoo away anxious thoughts.
I talked to all of the kids as much as I could.
I sang to some of the songs as much as I could.
Because with stillness comes the dread, the fear, the questions, the doubt.

Saturday met us with plans to hit a place in town called The Gorge.
Connor headed to Corning Glass with my one brother-in-law and his daughter (my niece).
That left Rav, Gracie & I to head to The Gorge with my other brother-in-law, my sister-in-law, and my other niece and my little baby nephew.
The Gorge was breathtaking.
And the place where I felt life melt away - just a little.
For there were views like this:

Gracie on the left. Cousin royal T. Ravioli on the right.

And this:

This one (above) is one of my favorite pictures that we took at The Gorge. The views were mind blowing.

The girls did such a great job at The Gorge. I was so proud. They did a 2 mile hike with rarely a peep or complaint. Cousin royal T. liked to be carried and Gracie just wanted to stop and look at the water. That was the only time you heard them complain. They took it all in and just had a blast. You could see between them a bond begin to form. A sisterly companionship that was truly spectacular to watch. And you can see it bloom in that first picture I posted of the two of them at The Gorge.

At one point during the hike, I had picked Gracie up and was carrying her. I leaned in and made the most of the moment - being there in this beautiful place with her - and I kissed her sun-kissed head. And as I did, I inhaled. And her hair smelled like campfire. She smelled like home. She smelled so beautiful. I know that I will never forget that moment with her as long as I live. The moment was quick. It was undetectable, really. No one knew. It wasn't marked by fireworks, squeals of delight, or monumental applause. It was for me and her. Though she doesn't even know it happened. I felt renewed there. My daughter who gives me so much - and she doesn't even know she does it.

It may sound cliche and hokey. But it was then that I felt peaceful. It was then that I felt back at center and back to myself. Surrounded by beautiful, natural cliffs, running spring water, and my girl.

My sweet girl with the campfire hair.

There's just one thing missing in this picture. I wish Connor had been there.

11 ripples in the pond:

Her Grace said...

I was just clicking over to find your email to see how you were doing and saw your post.

I'm so glad that the weekend brought you peace. Those quiet moments really are the most important, aren't they?

The things I'm anxious about may be different than the things you're anxious about, but I can relate to how sometimes sitting in stillness is the hardest place to be.

Thinking of you...

KC said...

What a beautiful place...and a beautiful moment. I'm glad you found that peace. I can smell the hair.

thailandchani said...

Sounds like a wonderful weekend.. and nature will always bring us back to center. Just being there .. and then with your daughter.

See? The universe does provide what we need... when we let it :)



Joker The Lurcher said...

i hope things calm for you soon. be strong.

deb said...

The Gorge looks like heaven on earth. It's nice when we get those moments with our children and you're right they're fleeting but maybe that's what makes them so special.

Seattle Mamacita said...

beautiful place. beautiful moment. "the girl with the campfire hair" :)

Pgoodness said...

Those moments, though fleeting and somewhat rare are what get us all through. Hang in there - glimpses of peace are sure signs that there is more to come.

flutter said...

breathe, baby. Look at all that beauty....

jen said...

god how i adore Rav.

and what a delicious and much needed time.

Magpie said...

Lovely moment, sweet photo!

carrie said...

What a beautiful weekend.

I love your "new" look! All fresh, and crisp and purty!