After all that has happened over the past six weeks, I was very happy to have two weeks off to head home (Parksville) as I normally do around this time of year. Before leaving Kelowna, I had told my buddy I needed a bonfire to be able to torch a box of stuff and packed my tent and sleeping bag in case they were needed. I tried doing this in Kelowna before bonfire bans went into effect but it didn’t come together in time.
The Tuesday I was home, my buddy and I went for coffee mid-afternoon and again talked about my need to have a bonfire and the possibility of going camping. By 6pm we confirmed by text messages as I awaited dinner being cooked and by 9pm, we were at Little Qualicum Falls Provincial Park setting up camp.
About two hours went by while we set up “Refugee Camp Alpha”. Once camp was ready for us to crawl into bed (later), we poured a couple of rum and cokes and nestled into our camping chairs for me to begin my purge. I was not expecting it to take a few hours to get through my box of items needing purging but it sure felt good doing it!
From checking weather forecasts before we left, we knew it going to be wet. But we also knew that if we had to, we could either sleep in the truck or pack up early and head home. For most of the time that we were there, it rained lightly on and off. It was light enough that we were never very wet for very long because the bonfire would quickly evaporate the dampness in our clothes. But of course, there was a few absolute downpours that had us running for the trees to shelter us from the rain.
The on and off cleansing of the rain perfectly complimented the purging from the fire and I kept saying, “This is perfect!”
By 2am, my box was empty, we were both a little tipsy and I was euphoric to be where I was, doing what I was doing and of course, who I was doing it with. We listened to podcasts and CBC radio without this feeling of having to be talking non-stop to one another.
At 3am, a very wet, dirty dog showed up, scaring the crap out of me and would not leave. We figured Einstein must have escaped from someone’s campsite and were somewhat okay with him hanging out while it was still dark rather then having a run in with another animal.
We finally crawled into bed when the sun was starting to light up the sky around 4am and when we got up at 6:30 (yes, much less then two hours sleep), the dog was still there. Every time we thought he had finally decided to go home, he’d re-appear. People tried returning “our dog” a few times before finally phoning the SPCA to come and get it. Turns out it had escaped around 12:30am from someone’s house across the highway from the campground.
Because of how gorgeous it was, the campsite was setup and we were both off, we decided to stay a second night. This meant a trip into town to pickup more supplies. We went in earlier in the morning to try and get the trip out of the way so we could just relax around the campsite.
The campsite was gorgeous, practically empty (never would have known we were in the middle of four other campers sites) and I was just so much in awe that I was in the forest and out in nature. Something I have always loved and something that made me realize I really need to get back out into nature more including camping which I know my son really wants to do as well.
After we got back, I just sat in my chair, tending to the fire while my buddy attempted to get more sleep in his tent. Every once in a while, I would change where I was looking. From the campfire, to the forest, to the trees overhead and the space in between them and back to the fire again. All of which heightened my euphoria and was great for meditating!
I was not cold at any point (including at night when I am always cold camping) and other then the second morning when it started pouring at 4am and stopped quite literally, two minutes from us leaving camp, we were relatively warm and dry the entire time we were there.
During the few brief downpours that happened, we were able to seek refuge under certain trees. I was expecting the rain but was pleasantly surprised by what it added to my purging. The rain did not make me wet or grumpy, instead, it reminded me of being home (which I was) and seemed to help in the cleansing of what I had gone there to purge which was a lot of the past 12 years as was evident interspersed within the papers I was burning.
Gratitude was very present within me during the time I spent camping, purging and just relaxing with my best buddy.
Gratitude for having had the opportunity to purge and cleanse, the food I was eating, the warmth of the sun, the multitude of uses from the bonfire (meditation, cooking, warmth, dryer) and forest (meditation, poles, lumber, protection, shelter) and the quality time I got to spend with a friend I don’t see often enough.
Neither of us felt the need to talk the entire time together and we both got our time to just sit by ourselves. I could have sat in my camp chair for hours (days really) longer then I did. The campsite was empty so when I looked out over our campfire, all I saw was forest.
I would like to be doing this more frequently. If not for the time in the forest, for having a reason to cook bacon and eggs in a wok over a campfire!