Thursday, September 2, 2010

The end of something, the beginning of something new...

Our Route.


Last weekend, we took Big Blue up the coast for a Saturday night camping trip. Our intention was to get to Stillwater Cove, but when we arrived, it was full. We went a few miles up the coast to Salt Point, Gerstle Cove, and found a spot.

EP & child required a few bathroom stops on the normally short journey.


The weather was sunny but cold and about as windy a day as I have ever driven Big Blue. I was all over the road and making the switchbacks and tight turns of Highway 1 took time and I pulled off way more than normal to let cars go by.

Big Blue, nose on the 3rd coating of filler.

Once we got settled in, we cozied up in the bus out of the wind which was blowing our top around like a tent. It was nice and warm in the bus and we read, played backgammon, and EP napped. Somewhere during this time, it hit us at about the same time. That moments like these will now be memories for a while.

I should note here, in case this blog is around in 20 years and our soon-to-come child is reading this, that we welcome this change. We welcome this child into our life and can't wait to make it part of Big Blue's adventure. This bus, after all, is the perfect vessel to teach our children what we value in life. That time and nature and space and centering and exploration are the things that EP and I hold dear. Introspection and the ability to build a fire are equally weighted. Watch the sunset. Watch a sunrise. And then cover just a few more miles.

So this revelation was not one of sadness, but more of a recognition of change. EP and I have spent the last 3 years in an ongoing Big Blue-fueled expedition. It is a comfortable shoe box that has become our own. And now we are to share it with someone new.

The mission may change. Big Blue has been tasked with a duel mission in the past. Both exploration and retreat were the primary objectives. And the retreat was usually to give EP and I a chance to clear our heads after long work weeks or an unexpectedly high tax bill. In other words, we work our asses off and lay some expectation on Big Blue to make it feel like that isn't so. And it works.


One of my favorite reads.


But now retreat is unlikely. The days of pulling into a campsite and literally falling asleep in the afternoon and sleeping through the night are over. I imagine our child to be a curious one, at least those are my intentions, and so it is under the cover of "teaching" that we will be kept busy. For the next 16 years or so.


Again I welcome this. And EP does as well. And I'm certain Big Blue does as well. And, while we have a VW campout coming up, EP will stay close to home from now on, leaving Big Blue and I solo on any journeys over the next 2 months. Then, I too, am home. So our next outing - our very next outing together in Big Blue! - will be with child. And the exploration will begin again. New, and with revised purpose this time.

Campsite #8 - our site - has bottle caps hammered into the poles and picnic table.


Normally a Pabst guy, I am hooked on Pliny the Elder.

I make the prediction right now that the only change to our camping habits is our sleeping pattern. After all, right now EP and I eat like kids - Boy Scout dinners and s'mores - and we won't stop having wine and beer. And we will sit around the fire at night talking about life. And we are curious hikers as it is now. Perhaps there will just be more bathroom breaks and more gear to haul?



I hate Whole Foods. But these marshmallows were awesome!


Big Blue, going to bed.

Daybreak.

Perhaps, beyond the sleep pattern change and the gear and the bathroom breaks, there will just be more wonder to it all. What does fog coming through the trees at dawn look like to a kid? What about raccoons? Is the circle drive of a state park a racetrack for bikes? Do nature hikes prove to be a great way to collect rocks? Do oceans ever seem so big? Does standing on the edge of the ocean and hearing waves but not seeing them bring a slight feeling of fear to a 3-year-old like it does to a 35-year-old?


And when the fog burns off and the sun comes out, do the days bring the promise of discovering something - anything - more than what was there a moment before? Will the many roads that lay ahead for our child seem as inviting as they have been for me? For EP? Will he/she someday come around a bend and see a fog bank filling the valley in front of them and think, "Man, that is really cool."? Will our child get out and snap a picture and say to himself how this is a good moment in an endless adventure of good moments?

I hope so. I really hope so.

6 comments:

Julia Schrenkler

This is the sweetest blog post I've read in quite a while. And while not a parent but a lucky aunt who gets to take the world's coolest niece camping in our VW, "there will just be more wonder to it all." is a very accurate, graceful statement.

My best to you - all three of you.

Minnie

What a lovely post. Thanks for sharing your thoughts.

FP Brewer

Excellent post, Big Blue.
Remember that I can get you some retreat time on infrequent weekends, given enough notice.
Just make sure there's ample Pliny waiting for me...

olqh-acts

Thanks for the reflections. We are blessed. And so is my daughter.

Monty

Great reflection. Thanks for including us in your vision of a great future.

Monty

Big Blue's Driver

Thanks all - for the kind comments and well wishes. Stay tuned for Baby Q's camping adventures. It takes a community and family and you guys are part of that.

Thanks,
Brett & EP

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