On a recent Glamping trip with The Patient One, the kiddos, and close friends, I learned a lot about life, the gospel, and of course some truths about Glamping.
1. Glamping requires a return to simplicity.
Our glamping vehicle was lovingly named the tinaminium (spell check does not recognize this as a word). It was a rented camper that provided many creature comforts (therefore the loose refence to the “minium” in the term of endearment, tinaminium. Condo’s bring some form of luxury to mind. I digress. What’s new.
Life lived under the brilliant stars and the ebony black sky is exhilarating. The air feels cleaner, the stars are brighter, and many of life’s accoutrements are left at home. This is by design, in order to do life differently, and due to a lack of space. They are somehow not missed at all. (well accept for the long hot showers and the strong internet signal). We packed high thread count sheets and white linen table cloths and our ipads. That’s why its called Glamping sillies.
2. It is important to love your neighbor as yourself, while at your glampsite. (spell check doesn’t know this word either.)
This means don’t run your generator when others are sleeping because it is loud and bothersome. It is important to be a good neighbor because you are parked very close to your neighbor, therefore any of the fruits of the spirit which you didn’t leave at home should be used in
dealing with communicating with others.
For example, if your neighbor’s campsite is in close proximity to the door of your home-on-wheels and the smoke is wafting into your tiniminium, causing you to be
n smoke slightly inconvenienced, its best to be a good neighbor by moving your vehicle out of the smoke’s way. It is much simpler and kinder than asking them to a. move their camp fire b. extinguish their campfire c. use different firewood that doesn’t smoke up the entire neighborhood.
3.Glampsites are a breeding ground for good story-telling and honing your listening skills.
Writers love stories, and I love writing, therefore, I love stories. I love listening to them, digesting them, processing them, and writing them. That must be why I love glamping so much. Because they are a breeding ground for story. Wait that may have been a leap, or I may have loosely connected the dots there on point 3.
Time stood still, as Time does when you are engrossed in a good story, so I don’t know how long I listened to a new “friend”, my glampsite neighbor tell me an amazing story of his life. He is a writer and I am a writer so naturally we talked for a very long time. And I will be writing more of his story here on these pages after I have asked his permission to re-tell. It is his story not mine, so I’d like to request permission before pressing publish here on the blog.
What I can tell you, is it was rich and deep and heartbreaking. I can tell you that his story is filled with redemption, hope, and C.S. Lewis’ “Mere Christianity.” I can tell you that the strength and perserverance that it took to live through his pain, heal from his pain, and ultimately choose to share his story, well they inspire. And they are a beautiful story of forgiveness, healing, and love.
(I did not expect this story to come sit in my lap and pierce my heart while Glamping. Did I mention that I was surprised often while on this Glamping trip.)
And I can tell you if I hadn’t gone Glamping, I wouldn’t have met my new “friend”. He called out to me and asked me to sit and talk to him while he breaded shrimp for the fryer. He said “I am a little OCD about this process.” That is why we had an inordinate amount of time together, talking and listening over three pounds of shrimp being breaded. It was time very well-spent.
I also sat and chatted with a neighbor from home and learned that she had lost both of her parents this past year. I have known her for 17 years, we live in the same small town, we have children the same age and I didn’t know that her mother and father had both died this year.
Her story caused me to stare into her eyes and listen with all I have. There is more to her story than I can share until I ask, but losing parents in one condensed time frame has to be deeply painful. She and I have made plans to go paddle boarding together. I have another “new” friend because of glamping.
4. Glamping creates the need to be dependent on one another for “survival.”
We dragged a lot of stuff with us, but we still didn’t prepare well enough. Our friends, not the ones in the glamper with us but the ones in a tent down the way, prepared better than we did in the food (protein) department. Because they are kind, generous, and really good cooks, gifted really in the culinary arts, we ate like Kings and Queens. We “lived” off of their grill and their kindness. Well, I can’t speak for anyone else. I did. And food tastes better when its prepared on a new $700 grill which is transported out to a glampsite for the weekend. And food tastes better when it is eaten out-of- doors in the cool fresh air. In fact, a lot of things are better out-of-doors on a plantation in the middle of nowhere. We know it was nowhere because the GPS couldn’t find it.
5. Friendship is better in close quarters (and friendships grow deep roots in the dark)
When Glamping, your generator must be turned on in order to have light. Well sometimes its just best to preserve your power and sit in the dark. Especially when it is late at night, and music from the music festival is serenading you on a Saturday night, on a quail hunting plantation, on a cool May night, in your tinaminium with a really close friend. Actually, your super-glue friend, your accountability partner and your sister-in-Christ. The dark can be good for sharing life, your heart, and having good momma time.
The dark of night can breed intimacy in friendship. And living in very close quarters could test the best of friendships. But this one survived and may have been made stronger. Many of our friends have walk in closets bigger than this space the four of us shared for a weekend.
Because we like to laugh, we imagined that Jesus could have written a parable teaching us how to treat others in a glamping campsite. We studied the parables in our Bible Study this fall, so they were still front and center in our frontal lobe parts. We had a stranger come to our door during that dark of night, generator off, talking heart to heart time. He scared us. We think we missed an opportunity to be kinder and gentler to him than we were. Did I mentioned he scared us? He had the wrong door, its like the wrong number when you call someone. He was looking for friends. They were staying in the tinaminium next door. Did I mention he scared us.( Well startled would be more accurate.) We pointed him in the right direction. But we didn’t offer him a meal or a kind word. And we weren’t particularly good neighbors. We felt like those in the parable of the Good Samaraitan who passed by the guy laying in the ditch. You know, the ones who didn’t help. Well we pointed him in the right direction. He just had the wrong camper.
Maybe we’ll get a second chance to “do unto others” on our next Glamping trip. Maybe we’ll get a do-over in the do-unto others department. We can only hope.
And there will be another. Even though the showers are short and sweet, and the creature comforts are few and far between, even with a loud generator.
Who doesn’t love the chance to hear stories under the blue sky days out in the middle of a field. And to live more simply.
There is much to learn out under the stars, and clouds, huddled by your camper with friends and family.
I wish I hadn’t stopped with five things I learned, though you may be.
wishing His grace….