It has been said a thousand times over. To have the best life, to live out a life of excellence superior to the mediocre to which we so easily ascribe in the daily grind of the here and now, one must practice gratitude. Gratitude. Giving thanks for who I am, where I am, with what I am. Needing nothing more, nor in want of less. Grateful for the life I have been given.
Gratitude. Such a world of possibility, a world within a word that holds the keys to both meaning and understanding. The keys to life. So much room for discovery, so much I do not know nor see with my mind’s eye. Uncovering the wealth of life and its many gifts, therein lies the key to becoming gratitude in its many forms. And I am ready for this discovery to begin.
I am grateful today for this: the freedom to let go and let be. As I am trying to do here at this humble little campsite in Cornwall, P.E.I.
Camping so far has been a whirlwind of activity. We are into the sixth day, and I finally feel like I am starting to unwind. It was an adventure from the very beginning, what with the madness of packing for a month only the night before we were set to leave. I was filing a report for work mere hours prior to pulling out of the driveway, camper in tow behind the ½ ton, with the kids and me bringing up the rear in the van. Every square inch of available space used, and then some. Nearly missing the empty sign lighting up the gas gauge. Then, unpacking six-hours worth of luggage, Rubbermaid totes, boxes and strewn odds and ends that ended up hither, thither and yon throughout three vehicles.
And now, work and the hectic pace of life as it was seems a distant, hazy memory. When crazy work and extra-curricular schedules have been all I eat, sleep and breathe for the last year. To relegate it to a compartment in the brain matter is telling. I never even brought along professional literature to read on this camping trip- more than I can say for last year’s stint at this very campground, when I would sneak back to the camper during movie nights to read my textbooks.
It is freeing to let go and let be.
We are in limbo somewhat with the camper. Our camper- it has been with us through thick and thin. One wonders if it is on its last legs, what with all the repairs we had to make just to get ole’Bessy in ship-shape for a month at the KOA. As I write, she sways in the wind, gusts coming off the water in heaves. White caps decorating the waves in mid-summer attire, perfect for a day of sailing.
The girls and I are settled for a cozy day inside (Daddy and Oldest are making the trek back home today to mow the lawns and attend soccer this evening, both of which will be activities conducted in the rain. Um, no thanks, I’ll pass on that one.) The girls are contentedly playing for a change, and I am enjoying this peace within the confines of our twenty-four feet of available space. We had listed the camper for sale so as to up-grade. One month in this canvas get-up was originally thirty days too long for this gal. However, I am re-thinking the whole plan as I am finally settled in, and I have organized a bit so as to throw some perspective on the whole camping experience. From this vantage point, life would be a whole lot cheaper (we would be out about ten grand if we up-graded), easier (we would be un-packing whilst the buyer was waiting to purchase and pull out with ole Bessy in tow) and less complicated (we still have to budget for the rest of the summer, so let’s be realistic here: is it really worth it to get a camper now that we are already settled into our first of four weeks?)
To make a decision to not sell and embrace camping done ‘tent-trailer’ style, is also freeing. I am grateful for the twenty-four feet of space I have. It is home away from home. I can live with the creaks and whistles through the cracks along the walls, the dampness in our bed covers at night. The rain taps over my head a steady rhythm, and it brings comfort. This is my opportunity to let go and let be.
So, the highlights so far. Those for which, among uncountable others, I am humbly grateful. Visiting with extended family. I love being close to my Mom and Dad, my brothers and sisters and those Maine cousins who just left yesterday morning, whom I was able to see every day because we are camping here in Cornwall. The pool. The kiddos are becoming little fish, and are all quite competent in the deep end. The relaxed pace of life. Like I said, it is a bit of an adjustment, but I could get very use to living life in the slow lane. The proximity to Charlottetown. I love that stores are only ten minutes away. TEN MINUTES, people!!!!! I can hardly contain my excitement and the adrenaline rush I get just thinking about that little fact. The beautiful water view I have when looking outside my door- that mouth of water that opens up into the Charlottetown Harbour known as the West River. Yesterday, it was a sea of glass. Today, it is a swirling mass of energy befitting those hardy sailors brave enough to set out in small water craft trying to catch the stiff breezes of the day. I prefer to watch and admire her strength from afar.
My own dear immediate family tucked in together under one tiny roof, safe and sound inside sleeping bags guaranteed to keep little and big ones warm even on the most frigid of nights. These children of mine- they will not always tag along. There will come a time in the not-so-distant future when Husband and I will coax and plead against hope that one or more might come along for the ride. For old time’s sake. I cannot think of those times being old times yet. I am here. And right now, so are they: my infuriating, wonderfully strong-willed, beloved Fearless Foursome…
For life, breath, and a mind to grasp this moment in which I can choose to be grateful, I give thanks. I am humbly mindful of all I have been given.
Gratitude. Giving thanks for who I am, with what I am, where I am.
I can, and I will. Be grateful. For all this, for all that is yet to come. It is my soulful offering.