Penny decided to surprise me with a week-long camping getaway to the woods. She thought that getting in touch with nature again, living off the land, and returning to the simpler life that I first moved to Windenburg to experience would refresh me and give me a break from the chaos that is our house.
But there was only one problem, she wanted to leave Calvin in charge while we were gone.
Begrudgingly I agreed. Calvin will never be responsible if we don’t give him the opportunity to do so.
So Penny and I packed up the tent and went off into the woods for some relaxation and privacy. With only the slightest pains of anxiety about what was happening back at home.
It was a lovely time, Penny and I hung out around the fire for most of the day. Reading, chatting, and stargazing.
And the privacy of the tent and forest brought some other benefits as well.
And in the late evening, while Penny would settled down near the fire or take advantage of the free time to get some sleep, I would go out to explore the woods.
One night in particular I stumbled into this little grotto that was separated from the rest of the forest and came across this secluded cabin. My first thought was that this was true seclusion. Whoever lived here would was living the dream that I, so long ago, had in my heart.
I tiptoed around the property, not trusting that anyone who lived so far out here alone was accustomed to having visitors. And was probably accustomed to having a loaded gun at arms length. But I found, amidst the wild plants and foliage, this delightfully peculiar woman. Instead of being shocked or angry that I was trespassing on her property, she welcomed me while still singing and talking to the plants she was tending. As I watched, I couldn’t help but ask her about what she was doing, what she was planting, her techniques and thoughts on cultivating plants. I was excited when I left, not only because I felt as if I had met someone who had the ability to turn my life into a different direction, but also because I was excited to take the lessons that she taught me and apply them to the farm.
On our last night, Penny and I decided to just relax around the fire and enjoy the few fleeting moments to be wholly present in each other’s presence. I couldn’t help but break out the violin and play some music for Penny. Something I used to do much more often before work and home became two very distinct divided (and both busy) worlds.
But my fiddling must have been too intense, for even the fire got dancing into it and an ember leaped out of the firepit and onto my shirt.
Needless to say it’s a good thing that each campsite came with a fire extinguisher, because Penny doesn’t do so well under pressure. She started screaming and looking around frantically for anyone else to take the lead and avert the disaster.
But besides a few singed hairs and soot
I was fine, and Penny and I had another funny memory to take home from our trip.
We spent the rest of the night just sitting and chatting by the firepit. And before we knew it, we started to hear the first twitterings of the morning birds. We decided to move to the river to watch the sunrise.
And those final moments of our trip together, watching the sun rise over the forest with no distractions reminded us both of our love for eachother.
And in those moments nothing ever felt so lovely as Penny.
I held onto those moments so hard when we returned home and I couldn’t suppress the thought that if only that fire had taken me…