Ah, these words are perfect for me. I love my home. It's always hard for me to leave, and I'm excited about an upcoming silent retreat camping trip on Mt. Tam. That said, I haven't been camping in awhile, so yesterday when I decided to set up a tent I purchased years ago at Cost-Co planning to camp, I was surprised at what was involved. It seems this tent needs two people to set it up. Okay, I talk to my friend Karen who is also going, and she will help me set it up. Then, I try to get it back into the bag. It came out of the bag, so I know it's possible, and ...
Of course the wind was howling yesterday so the tent was blowing all around the deck, because it is a backpacking tent, and weighs nothing. Its weight is measured in ounces, and our deck in summer when the fog is cheerfully probing about is actively invigorating, so it was no easy task, but the tent is now back in its bag, but the poles are not. I do not see how it is possible to fit the poles in the bag with the tent, and since I'm not backpacking but only walking in a short way, I can have two bags, one for poles and one for tent. I am happy to walk back and forth.
I kept thinking of John Muir yesterday. He headed off into the woods with some tea and bread. I have a tent, a pad, a sleeping bag, a headlamp, and will bring dishes, a washcloth, jackets, shorts, well, you see how it is. I am hardly John Muir, and yet, I will be on Mt. Tam, above Muir Woods, an easy walk down into them, and I'll be in redwoods, and i can walk to the ocean if I want. I will be out of touch and my plan, without expectation, is to return next Wednesday with my spirit "washed clean". Tears come. Aren't those the most beautiful words? "washed clean". Of course, it will be my spirit that is clean. There are no showers, so I may be a bit pungent and that's good too. My nose can use a work-out playing with varying varieties of scent.
Another note: My friend Sara did a Vision Quest a few years ago, and she camped alone. She was told to bring a certain kind of rope to put around her tent because rattlesnakes won't crawl over it. I pointed out I will be in the redwoods and rattlesnakes like rocks and sun, but she is bringing it by today. It seems it takes a village for me to wash my spirit clean.