I crawled out from the small tent, my partner still fast asleep. It was already after 8am and I loved sleeping in among the deciduous forest, the fresh air, the smells, the sounds at night of the insects singing, and small woodland critters dashing through the tall prairie grass under gently whooshing trees in the moonlight. But it was time to rise and greet the morning.
As I stood tall and stretched, the cool October air surrounded me, so I pulled on my fleece and looked around. The sun was still below the tree line and barely visible through the thick morning fog that covered the bluffs high above the Mississippi River. I needed to gather water for breakfast and wood for a fire, so I walked the path out from the trees and over hills among the bluff top prairie. Just beyond the fog at the edge of the forest were Birch trees, Maple and Oak, the knee high grass was wet, the dark maroon Sumac leaves dripped, laden with condensation.
There is a place for spiritual awakening in moments like these; I stand there on the dirt path, still, listening to my surroundings. Something moves inside the tree line, possibly a deer, one from the family whom visited our camp during dinner the night before. I can hear droplets of water out in the mist perhaps hitting a rock or a broad leaf. I close my eyes and breathe in deeply, filling my lungs with rich, river valley air and when I exhale my breath almost instantly falls to the ground.
When I return to camp my partner has awaken and has waiting for me a hot, steaming, mug of coffee, I drop the wood and begin building a fire to the hissing sound of our camp stove as it begins to boil water for oatmeal. I look over at her with her long, dark hair, sipping from her mug of cocoa, her eyes still a little sleepy, she is so beautiful, raw, and real and seems to belong here among nature’s finest gifts. We share a love of Mother Nature, exploring the hills, forests, the bluffs and river bottoms, mountains and valleys. It is here we find our spirituality at its purest, it’s here we find the love we share for each other, in its truest, most honest form.