What Is My Heart Calling For?
To be given a whole day off, to myself? Many different scenarios go through my mind.
At first, I dreamed about just being alone in a huge hotel room, king sized bed, in my pajamas, sipping a hot latte and enjoying breakfast in bed. Maybe I would take a spa day. Or laying on a beach, with the sand between my toes, a glass of rose in my hand, listening to the waves of the ocean crash along the shore. Walking the streets of Italy, and stopping in the little coffee shops to eat pastries and drink espresso, or visit the local wineries and just enjoy every last sip of wine.
And then it hit me. What is it that my heart is calling for? Camping.
In the summer months, which are almost around the corner (I am trying not to jinx the beautiful weather we’ve been blessed with recently, because it literally could turn at any moment), our family goes camping. We have been to many different lakes, rivers, fields, campgrounds, and yards (yes, we have camped in people’s yards). There is one spot that is my absolute favourite, White Swan Lake.
Before I was born, my Grampa built a small, square, one room cabin. We spent so much time there, growing up. Catching frogs, fishing in my Grampa’s boat, swimming, roasting marshmallows, and making s’mores. We would stay up late to see the stars, because I have never in my life ever seen them as bright as they are up there, at the lake. I have so many beautiful memories. I think that’s why it was so easy to choose what I would do for my day, because it’s something that I love so much.
I would go with my little family. We would start our day, with camping coffee, because I seriously think it’s the best (it’s even better with Baileys – for the adults). We would have a big breakfast, with pancakes, eggs, and bacon. We could take a nice family walk around the campground. Pick flowers and chase butterflies. Head down to the water and find the smoothest, flattest rocks to have a skipping rock contest. This is one of my many talents, I usually rock this (pun intended)! When the water is as calm as glass, it’s the best time to go out for a fish. We pack a cooler of cold drinks and some snacks and head out! Our fishing rods are all ready to go. The sky is blue and the sun is shining. There’s a family of ducks on the water, it’s so cute to watch the little ducklings. There’s a moose at the shallow edge, walking slowly, taking a moment to notice the boat gliding gently passed. At this moment, I take a deep breath and appreciate all the beauty around me. The people I love are with me, and we are so blessed to have this paradise and be able to enjoy it at any time.
In the afternoon, when the weather has warmed up outside we take our lawn chairs, towels and floaties down to the creek. It’s a slow-moving creek, which makes the best swimming holes. It’s crystal clear, and ice cold, which on hot days, makes it inviting to jump in. The kids enjoy playing below the bridge and having contests to see who can stay in the cold water the longest. It’s relaxing to be by water, it’s healing and it makes us all a little happier.
When it’s not too hot, we like to go on a little hike down to the waterfalls. The walk down is a little steep, but it is not too far. It’s so lush and green, and almost dark because of the many tall beautiful larch trees. Once we get down to the falls, we just sit. We watch the water fall through the rocks and bubble at the bottom. The mist from the water is cool and refreshing.
For dinner, we always throw something on the BBQ. If we’re lucky, maybe even a fresh rainbow trout from our morning fish. The kids spend the evening biking, running, flying kites, or checking out all the bats that have made a home on the boathouse by the water. As the evening darkens, we light a fire, roast marshmallows and make s’mores. We laugh and talk and reminisce about the good old days.
The sun sets, the sky darkens and the beautiful stars come out. It’s breathtaking. It feels as though I’m on top of the world.
And as I lay my head down before I go to sleep, I can’t help but wish my Grandpa was still here to share it with us.