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Marsh Lake

September 13, 2017

This weekend was spent with some of my favorite people, at their absolute favorite place. There’s a real sweetness in friendship when your people share their places with you. Also, being outside and in the mountains when the air just begins to gets crisp and full of fall is the best kind of magic I know. We haven’t been camping at all this summer, which feels like a straight-up crime, and it was so good to wake up in a tent again. Why don’t I sleep in one every night of my life? I really don’t know.

(Actually, I kind of do. And I’ll tell you why. Saturday night, some animal was just nosing around our tent. You know, like you do. Crunching sticks, walking in circles, dragging its nose along the side of the tent. Which is cool and kind of funny and all, until you have to pee at 3:45am and have to wake your husband to stand guard while you pee outside the tent because without your contacts, you’re basically helpless. I’m a sitting duck. A squatting duck, even. There could be an animal next to my bare bum and I’d NEVER KNOW, GUYS.)

This was my second time at Marsh Lake, and I seem to have made it a tradition to get up there after dark when everyone’s already set up… but I mean,  half the adventure right? We were greeted with dutch oven peach cobbler (and I LOVE dutch oven peach cobbler… like I had a facedown with a moose over it at girl’s camp once… a true story for another day) and friendly faces around the firelight, and I knew we were in for a beautiful weekend.

We fished, we hammocked, we read, we napped. We sat around fires in silence and under umbrellas while mountain rain fell. We colored and snacked (like, a lot). We explored hills and valleys and hopped fences. We laughed hard and we talked tenderly. It was so connecting and beautiful.
I hope you appreciate just how magical that CAT MAGIC blanket is. Not only is the print incredible (I mean, look at that sassy cat selfie game. Can you say, Christmas card?) but it was my grandma’s and for being a thin blanket, it’s got some kind of cat power that keeps you SO warm. Win, win, win.
A few of my favorite memories from this trip are:

All the good talks and reconnecting with dear friends. This one I can’t put into words. But it fills my soul, man.

Sunday breakfast listening to MoTab, eating sausage, and quoting Parks and Rec.

Hearing people I really, really admire talk about chasing their dreams and passions. It inspires me to really examine and build a life around mine.

Watching Amy use our camera (some of these photos are her’s!) and her intent to capture things just as she saw them. So, so cool to see.

SEEING A SALAMANDER! We named him Iago. He was a long way from home, poor little guy.

Laying in the hammock Sunday morning with Code, snoozing under the autumn sun. There was nothing on my mind but the sway of the hammock, the feel of the breeze, and my best friend next to me. I wanted to bottle that up.

Being in our tent at night under the sound of raindrops. I mean, guys. That’s nature’s poetry. (Also praying those raindrops don’t leak through the 15-year-old tent we borrowed… prayer works!)

Playing with Amylee’s hair and chatting in the motorhome to the rhythm of raindrops.

Wandering the woods with cute Amylee. We traipsed all over, and when were out of breath hiking back toward camp, we stopped for a rest on a hillside. While we sat, we used sticks to dig around the sides of a rock, like some sort of impromptu archeological dig. When we’d uncovered the rock enough to get our sticks under it and dislodge it, we found out it was twice the size we’d thought – half buried in the hillside. This became our game, and Cody joined in, pulling smallish looking rocks out of the ground only to discover with delight each time that they were HUGE. We would all laugh at squeal every new find! Cody would throw them at the dead trees (dang bark beetle) and knock off all the top branches with a solid THUNK! Amy and I made a game out of it, and every time Cody missed, he owed us a favorite treat. It was the funnest game. He didn’t miss often, but I just want it in writing that he now owes me a Slurpee and a box of PB Larabars, and owes Amy a Take 5 and Chewy Sweet-tarts. WE WON’T FORGET, CODY.

But on the real, there was such simple satisfaction in that game. I spend so much of my time scrolling or anticipating the next thing on my to-do list that I think I miss out on playing in the dirt, throwing rocks, and being totally immersed and satisfied in the present. It was so much fun.

That leads into another favorite moment for me, which was my nap in our tent Saturday afternoon. NEED I SAY MORE? Actually, I have a lot more to say, so let me set the stage. It was just chilly enough that you need a sweatshirt, but warm enough that you don’t need a blanket, and we lay on our air mattress (#glamping) and cat magic blanket (as seen above) and just felt the fall mountain breeze whoosh through the unzipped windows’ screens. Bird sounds and people chatting, with the occasional dog bark just sent us right to sleep. Cody woke up sooner than I did, and let me rest longer. I woke up a little later, and suspended in that half awake state, I listened to the sound of laughter across the lake, laughter at our campsite, and laughter up the road. I checked the time on my connection-less cell phone before I shut my eyes again, listening to the laughter and play happening all around the lake. I got head-to-toe spirit chills as I just thought, this is connection.

(Then I promptly fell back to sleep, until Cody woke me by bringing fresh-caught, fresh-cooked fish bathed in butter and lemon pepper to the tent window. Homeboy gets me.)

I want more weekends to look like this – feel like this – even at home. Less invested in social media and more invested in the humans and earth happening around me. Less connected to Wifi and more connected to myself, to the laughing, coloring, rock-throwing, playing-in-the-dirt self that sometimes gets lost behind a screen, or in an assignment, or in a calling, or in fear. More play. More peace. More presence.

That’s my wish for this fall and always. I’m grateful to Marsh Lake for reminding me.


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1 comment

Nikki October 12, 2017 at 11:56 pm

I loved this post! Thank you so much for sharing your thoughts! YOU are AMAZING and I am truly inspired by you! Love you Miss Shelby! Also…I am a little (LOT) jealous that you got to go camping with those beautiful people!!!


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