I remember idyllic summers spent working at camp. I recall surroundings full of natural beauty. Acres of woodlands led to a bluff, which dropped off to a wide-pathed river, and the river flowed on to the Chesapeake Bay. I wandered those woods alone sometimes, confident in their safety. I loved to sit on the edge of the bluff, day or night, watching distant ships and sailboats navigate the river - commerce and pleasure mingling on the waterway. The night sky was worthy of every romantic description you've ever heard: the stars were diamonds sparkling against deep blue velvet; breathtaking in number; close enough to pluck from the sky.
Sitting alone in such surroundings feeds the farthest reaches of my soul, quells its deepest longings for the moment. It brings a serenity so powerful and personal that it is difficult to discuss it with others, even friends and lovers, because it gives a glimpse of my elemental, unencumbered, unguarded, unfettered self. I don't like to show that side of myself to others very often; it's too vulnerable, and I don't trust enough. So many people seem to have lost the capacity for this deep pleasure, and showing the face of it to someone who cannot understand can take it from pleasure to humiliation.
I have neglected this primal core all too readily as I have aged. I can count (and describe in detail) the few times I've felt this way in the last half-dozen years. It seems that it has become harder and harder to find a spot which allows for withdrawal from the goings-on of mankind. I was so rich back then, living in an open-air cabin, with no electricity or running water. I had a rickety dresser full of shorts and t-shirts and sweats, and a pair or two of flip-flops and sneakers. I had the same old dark brown sleeping bag I'd used since second grade. My prized possessions were a battery-powered lantern, a notebook and a camp sweatshirt. But I lived for the span of each summer on a spot any billionaire would have been proud to own, and it allowed for privacy, which is the greatest luxury of all in our teeming world.
I don't know whether or not it's possible to share such a moment with someone else. I have not. Having another person present seems to take me out of the elemental world. I become aware of myself, less free to be open.
Well, enought of this serious stuff. It's making Jane a Dull Girl. X my heart, next post will be in a lighter vein. Count on it!