Saturday, July 4, 2009

Ode to the Campfire!

There is a place in the wilds of British Columbia's interior where folks of all different kinds can live together in relative harmony. You don't believe me? Well, you should. I saw it myself, more than once, and I have marvelled at it for sometime now.

I am not sure what makes it possible for the redneck and the hippy to live on the same dirt road and manage to respect one another. I am not sure how the meat- eaters and the vegetarians can sit round the same campfire and marvel at the dinner before them. I still don't know what makes the hillbilly moonshine brewed in the back-shed still taste as lovely as the 10 year old single malt imported from Scotland's Isle of Islay. I can't understand what those who ride horses and those who ride Harley's have to talk about. And I can't figure out how the campfires built in those rugged hills can warm hearts as much as they do cold hands and feet, but you know, I don't think I care if I ever know the answer to these questions. I simply like that it happens.

Campfire and Kettle

I just spent a week camping beside the most magical lake, in the forested hills near my home town.

View from our tent

The mornings were spent with my little niece Senay collecting wild flowers and building sandcastles. The afternoons spent reclining on smooth soft drift wood with a good book, while Senay painted beach stones. The evenings were festive gatherings of good people.

Breakfast on the campfire

Morning's Flowers

Out there, under that starry sky, miles away from the civilized world the most interesting folks found there way down the dusty path to our Gypsy campsite. When the sun went down over the snow capped peaks and the campfire roared with flames, the people roared with laughter. All kinds of people sitting round a campfire with almost nothing in common, except perhaps a deep appreciation for this wild and wonderful earth. There is something really delightful about that, something hopeful and inspiring about a group of people gathered together who have nothing more than their humanness in common.

Indeed, I must admit, that as the years go by I am more interested in what makes us the same as opposed to all of those things that make us different. And I have to be honest and say that this hasn't always been the case. My life for a longtime was dedicated to being different. Oh the pains of proving ones uniqueness.

Setting Sun

When I was 18 years old I moved as far away from hometown as I could to celebrate my differences, to be known for my individual flare. Now almost 15 years later I have to laugh hard at the pull of my healthy and youthful ego. Sitting there with my wild family and those mountain people, I realized that what made me the most different from these good folks was my own harsh judgment, my own desire to be something other than what I am ~ a small town girl with an enormous love for the wild lands of my childhood.

So this post is dedicated to good hearted country people everywhere. What an honour it is to warm myself by your fires, to be accepted exactly as I am, for better or for worse. Ha! Your an inspiration!


Janine said...

Oh Nao,
Home, sweet Home! The stories of humans & animals, beings living there together. The stories of earth & water, rock and air. All gather in front of a fire, share meals, laugh and sing, stories are told in the glow of fire's gold. This is where we all are one, peace in mind, the hearts rejoined.
The Fire, the Earth and the Sky!

Thank you Nao for sharing your story, it helps me to remember.

See you Wednesday honey
xo Janine

ArtSparker said...

What a wonderful stay at a temporary home.

I have found that the tribe of odd or different people is so vast that I feel increasingly at ease in the world.

Celeste Maia said...

You traveled to a place where we all should go to share laughter, bread and love for our earth. No matter where we come from, or look like, or what "baggage" we bring, we all want the same thing, happiness in the simple things and harmony.
I too have just arrived from a place in the past where I enjoyed the freedom and beauty of life lived at a low pitch.

herhimnbryn said...

Campfires can do that can't they? You describe it all beautifully.

Jasmine said...

Beautiful photo's. I feel like I was there with you. I like your perspective.

Janelle said...

ah. BEST posting EVER....really really. if i handed out awards, you would get one. LOVED this!!! god its beautiful there. thanks for sharing. xxx j

Anonymous said...

I(we)truly are blessed to have come from such a special place. I couldn't agree more with everything you have said. I believe that I felt the same need and desire to escape and yet.... now that I am back I hope my children will grow up to appreciate how lucky they are to have roots planted in this very spot. Hope to SEE you soon my friend.


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