Monday, April 26, 2010

And The Winner Is...

The word for camping with ten and eleven year old girls is EXHAUSTING.  It was a wonderful trip with a few issues, of course.  All but one girl said she had a great time.  The other girl said it was so-so.  As she is in a constant state of preteen attitude trip, I'm interpretting that to mean it was an eleven on a scale of one to ten.  I'm giving it a thumbs up. 

Rustic would be a generous description of this camp.  We were in cabins, which is vastly more luxurious than the tents the girls have always camped in before.  However, there was no hot water in our unit, so we had to think outside the box when we cooked and cleaned.  Plus, there were two operating toliets for the twenty-seven people in our unit.  Amazingly, there was never a line.  Somehow, it all worked.  No one in our unit showered from Friday to Sunday due to the lack of comfortable water temperatures, so we were ever so grateful to get home and get cleaned.  Everyone who passed us was probably thankful, too.

Friday night it rained, so mud puddles abounded on Saturday.  Girl Scouts are always prepared though, so we just pulled on our rain boots and enjoyed ourselves.  At first, I found myself avoiding the muddy holes and standing water.  As the day wore on, I tromped right through them with the girls.  Feeling my boots sink into the muck and listening to the mud suck on the soles of my boots as I lifted my feet was somehow satisfying.  The giggles and squeals from the girls and the abundance of clean, fresh air were invigorating.  My mind and heart, though foggy from a night of little to no sleep, rejoiced in the calm after the storm.  I considered where I have been in this past year and how I was brought through a storm and picked up from out of the mire.

Getting out in nature without the distractions of life (like this computer!) is entirely good for one's soul.  Considering my exquisite but unpolished surroundings, I felt refreshed. Renewed.  Ready.   

Additionally, there is something to be said for leaving the company of men for a weekend.  Men are a complete necessity and an absolute delight; please, do not hear me wrong here.  As women and girls, the pressure of wanting and needing to feel "beautiful" can be suffocating.  Can we live up to the unreal expectations that [some] men, society, and, honestly, other women sometimes foist upon us?  No. I'm not packing an airbrush.   

Out of the spotlight, out of the eyes of men and the "Blonde Bombshells" in my neighborhood, I can look around at seventy other females and see each as absolutely beautiful in her own right.  Take off the makeup. Remove the designer jeans and heels.  Put on t-shirts and grubby jeans with tennies, hiking boots, rain boots.  Dirty our hands; dirty our knees.  The strain of being objectified removed, we can revel in what it means to be a woman.  Comparisons cease.  It's lovely.  We are each gloriously and purposefully created.   We are equipped to make it through the storm and mud and make it through well.

Taken out of her everyday surroundings, Miss Proper blossomed before my eyes this weekend.  When music played, she danced when no one else was dancing.  She busted out some pretty risky moves; there was even hand planting involved.  She shook her hair and spun her body.  She was the center of attention, and she did not shrink back from it.  It was magnificent to watch this transformation, even if it was only for this one moment.

The girls are currently chatting up their memories at school, laughing about their newly created inside jokes, yawning at their lack of sleep during math class, enjoying the whole experience.  The unity in my troop, the tranforming moments of my daughter, the touching ceremonies and lasting tradititions, and the capacity, capabilities, and beauty of women all curently rolling through my mind is amazing.  I write exhausted but refreshed all at once.  What a privilege.  If you ask me, the winner is me.     

Rain boots remind of Psalm 40

Retiring Flags

Camp ashes that will be carried to our next fire

Arms stretched, dancing.  My daughter as I have never seen her.

Whispers of cedars.  We will return! 

1 comment:

  1. This is an amazing post. I miss being able to speak to you on a daily basis. I am so glad that your daughter let her hair down and let herself go....and it sounds like you did too. Good-it's so good for the soul to stop living up to others expectations and just be. :)