When my friend Heidi first brought up the sober ladies' camping trip, I told her I was in, presuming we got to do "witch stuff." You know, dancing topless around a campfire, burning stuff, maybe doing things with our blood? Is it weird that I picture a ladies' camping trip as basically "The Craft" with tents?
When we started to nail down the details -- the campsite (it's a few hours away and has a hiking trail to a waterfall) the weekend dates, the car rental -- I got a little nervous. My sole prior camping experience is that time I camped at Coachella in 2009. I had like two months sober and my tent collapsed on me in the middle of the night. I slept with it sort of wrapped around me like a shroud/sleeping bag.
I was expressing my concerns to a friend and he said, "Yeah, it's rough when you wake up in the morning and there's no coffee--" at which point everything got way too real and I had to sit down for a minute. Later, he added: "Make sure you put your cooler back in the car at night or you could attract a bear," and I was suddenly all "MY GOD I COULD DIE OUT THERE."
Why am I going camping, you guys?! I mean, I like nature, and I like my friends, but if I am going to take two days off from my son, shouldn't I spend them doing something relaxing like sleeping in a bed? What momentary insanity made me think I was the camping type?
I guess I just feel like it's good to try new things and get out of your comfort zone, but maybe it's not? I mean, I like to be comfortable in pretty much every area of my life except footwear. Comfort is awesome -- it's why we invented air conditioning and couches.
That said, I keep remembering the time about four years ago that I decided to go on a yoga retreat. Like with this camping trip, I really can't explain what compelled me. I actually just turned to Olivia and said, "You know, one time I went on a yoga retreat," and she laughed really hard for at least a minute. I don't even really like yoga!
The retreat was at Better Farm, described on their website as a "65-acre sustainability education center, artists' colony, and organic farm." Just reading that description makes me feel kind of smirky and itchy. I went with a girlfriend, and when we got there it turned out that we were the only people who had even signed up! The farm itself was full of nice, mellow hippies who made their own granola and lots of dogs running around. I got into an argument with one of them over whether or not babies are smart. (In retrospect, I was being a dick, but I still maintain that babies are stupid as hell.)
Each morning, we climbed up into a barn, rolled out our yoga mats, and "breathed fire from our bellies" and "opened our chakras" and such. We did a yoga nidra meditation, which is supposed to result in a sort of lucid sleeping. We also did a walking meditation, where we took an hour to walk around the perimeter of a field, focusing on each footstep that slowly crunched into the grass. We brought our journals and "set intentions" before our sessions. We wrote down traits we wanted to let go off and burned them on the last day. (Yesssssss! Burning stuff is mega-witchy.) It was all very earnest and unscientific and pretty antithetical to my general way of being. At the end of the weekend I felt great -- bright and clear and relaxed and happy.
The instructor turned out to specialize in Kundalini yoga, which is more of a stretch-y, breath-y yoga that I vastly preferred to the vigorous gym type yoga I'd done before. I enjoyed it so much that I actually kept up the practice for awhile afterward at a NYC studio that specialized in Kundalini. The 7 a.m. class I attended included a free dancing portion, which was a pretty great way to start my day.
The point being that I did something totally out of character and it resulted in GROWTH and ENRICHMENT so camping will probably be the same way.
Or, let's be honest, I could die out there without even a final cup of coffee. I WANT TO LIVE, so if any of you are outdoorsy types, please give me your best camping tips. I have a tent and an air mattress, what else do I need? What kind of food should I bring? (I'm responsible for providing two camp meals for everyone as well as my snacks and such.) Know any good spells?