Sunday, September 21, 2008

Communing with Nature 4: Jenny Jump Beauty

Dear faithful readers, I can only apologize for my absence with excuses: the beginning of the school year, my duties as a deacon, and general laziness.  I am sincerely sorry for my absence.  Of course, maybe some of you are simply bored of this whole Jenny Jump review and are waiting for me to return to something more substantial.  Well, have no worries, I will.  In fact, I will try to post two quick final Jenny Jump posts and then finally post a third, general update of my life.  So, with all of that written, prepare yourself, dear reader, for a virtual (ha, because we're on the internet) glut of posts.

First of all, let's think about the beauty of Jenny Jump.  If you've never been camping, I really cannot adequately describe to you the musky, cloying smell of decaying leaves and the freshness of the air.  I cannot match the glory of a bright blue sky, the color of a baby's eyes, clear as sight will allow.  I cannot even broach the subject of a midnight sky with a few whispy clouds and the comforting sight of familiar constellations far from home.  Camping brings me to my roots, makes me wonder how afraid our tent-dwelling ancestors must have been, surrounded by the bark of wild animals and the twinkling sounds of insects.  Every motion teasing their nerves.  How insulated we are in our cities full of human noise.  I feel more awake and alive when I'm camping.  I feel more aware.

And the art of camping itself, well, how can I describe to you the success of a fire made only with a few pieces of newspaper, a match and some dry wood?  How can I tell you how satisfying it is to sleep in a tent erected with your own hands and sweat (even though Eddie Bauer helped with the design)?  How, if you've never been camping, can I possibly manage to evoke the weary pride that comes from hiking for five or six hours, the refreshing feeling of slick sweat pouring from your pores, the knowledge that you have worked and you have achieved something as you stand at the cliff edge on the summit of a mountain, surveying the terrain before you?

All of that to say that my deepest wish for you, dear reader, is that you know this joy, you know this pride, you know this radical experience (radical meaning "going to the root").  My heart aches for you to go camping for yourself if you never have.  Meanwhile, these brief descriptions, I hope, encourage you to go.  And now these brief descriptions will be supplemented by pictures.

The eponymous fire, built with my own hands.  It was a quick fire, meant to burn out before we went to sleep.

Just one of the spectacular views from our many hikes.

A Jenny Jump Sunset.  Wild bats were flying around in the gathering dusk.  I tried to capture them with the camera, but they were fluttering too fast.

I love pictures of paths.  Maybe it's my current preoccupation with a search for a vocation, but I think I've always been fascinated by a good path picture.  Not to say that this is a particularly good path picture, but something about the dappled light on the brown dirt and the golden sun striking the green undergrowth caught my eye.

And finally, the satisfaction of a successful hike.  And a beautiful woman by my side.

Stay tuned for the final Jenny Jump update and then a life update.  Thanks for sticking with me, faithful reader.

1 comment:

Laurie said...

As much as mere words can, you did a wonderful job capturing some of my favorite things about camping, Marc.