The Necessities (?) of Life.


A couple of weeks ago, I lamented leaving the Adirondacks on a journey through them to Montreal.   The pristine wildernesses left such an impression upon me.  Like a chance encounter between destined lovers who meet each other for the first time as they are both en route to continents in opposite hemispheres, the vision settled into my mind and took root.  It has changed me somehow, and my mind has been almost recklessly calculating how to get back there, how soon I can be there again, and what I can do to prevent us having to be separated for long stretches of time.

Luckily, my partner is an experienced back-country trekker who is more at home in a tent than she is our apartment.  And, so, it took zero art of persuasion to convince her that we should plan a week-long expedition into the heart of the West Canada Lakes Wilderness area.

Now, I’m your average car-camper.  For me, camping generally means slugging along a host of  comforts and half a cupboard of food that I can engineer into a fabulous “foodie” cooking experience using the rarely employed technology of an open fire.  Clothes for every weather, paint and canvas in case I feel like getting creative in the woods, two pairs of flip-flops (one for inside the tent; one for outside), travel scrabble set, cumfy pillow, and the ever important good coffee-making paraphernalia.

Needless to say, I’ve had to practice letting go.  We’ll be eating pre-packaged, freeze-dried meals, and packing in one extra set of ultra-lite clothing.   Instant coffee and survival gear.  Every single item that goes in our packs must be set before the judge and jury of my experienced back-packer, and it would be a grand understatement to claim that she is a vigilant guard of weight management.

At first, letting go was a little difficult: “What do you mean, I can’t pack every kind of snack I think I might have the urge to chomp on?” “What do you mean, I can’t pack four pairs of jeans?” “What do you mean I’ll not be able to eat fresh fruit and veggies for a week?”  But, as we peel away all the extras, one by one, and as I settle my mind into being comfortable with only the barest of necessities, I find myself actually becoming happier and happier.

All of these little cravings add up– so much so, that if I weren’t willing to work loose their stranglehold on me (and one or two moments certainly popped up in which my willingness evaporated), I would miss out on the opportunity to be where my soul finds absolute respite and harmony.

Thank you, Katie, for helping to free me a little bit at a time.  Adirondacks, here we come!!

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14 Comments

Filed under Mindfulness, Natural World, Sacred spaces, Whatchamacalit

14 responses to “The Necessities (?) of Life.

  1. ZenSoapbox

    Like a lot! I love the simple joys of camping with just the basics. Of course, now that we have children I never have the experience…lol! But I remember it!

  2. Enjoy your trip! And enjoy letting go – packing light is, as Jack London put it, “the inexorable elimination of the superfluous” 🙂

  3. chucking away here… I love the wilderness too…and have had amazingly simple, but profound shifts in just minutes in a woodsy spot…but, oh my……..I love extra jeans/soft sweatpants, varieties of snacks, 4 different snuggly sweaters, my beloved pillow…. : ) ….ah, you’re doing so well to let those go and shift into the basics…what a good teacher/partner/encourager you have… she’s good! I haven’t backpacked in 40 years, but the simplicity is wonderful…I hope you have a special time… : )

    • I see I have a fellow kindred spirit!! Trying to imagine what camping without my favorite sweatshirt will be like, but I’m up for the adventure. Katie is exactly as you described. Thanks for your well wishes–appreciate them greatly. Blessings!!

  4. Jeez, I HATE camping of any type (being more of a comfy hotel sort) but when we went to Nepal last year, we camped, rafted, slid down waterfalls, hiked until I cried with the pain of it all, ate sparsely, took a few items in our rucksacks (I love hair-dryers, straighteners and make-up!) and it all brought about much-needed transformation. Nothing like nature and the release of all our material ‘necessities’ to bring you back to yourself. Lovely blog. Thank you.

    • Gosh, your trip to Nepal sounds amazingly transformative!! I had planned a trip to Nepal last year, too, but unfortunately, they fell through at the very last minute. I will def. go some day, though, so expect to hear from me, asking all the essential questions, lol!! Sounds like you had a phenomenal experience.

  5. I love *not* camping but Angela you inspire me as always. Have a wonderful trip and I look forward to your sharing some nuggets of wisdom upon your return. Hugs!-Julie p.s. I totally get two pairs of flip flops 🙂

  6. You remind me of myself Angela …even pre-pain. I remember wanting to camp on the beach but set it up like we were in a 5 star hotel. My husband made endless fun of me. 🙂
    Have a wonderful time — and yes “Let go”!!

  7. I just love how you write! Fun and easy, with wisdom from lessons learned delicately woven in. Amazing. I enjoyed how as you let go, you found yourself becoming happier! Katie is quite the teacher 🙂 I admit to being more of a car-camper myself (Ok truck and camper now!) and I prefer going mid-week to enjoy a few days in a nearly empty campground… it’s just so quiet! Anyways, thank you so much for sharing your gift of writing and wisdom with us all here! Hugs, Gina

    • Thank you for your kind words, Gina. While I would have called myself a car camper myself also, Katie managed to hook me line and sinker!! We’re planning now a back-country trek to Nova Scotia! Mid-week campgrounds are so much better, aren’t they? There is something to be said for the availability of a SHOWER!! Lots of love, Angela

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