I'm not going to deny the fact that sometimes, living in a tent isn't so easy.
Well to be frank: it can suck.
Sure, it's more peaceful for us to live where we are now and we prefer this lifestyle to our former one but sometimes we get discouraged.
For instance, it's a bummer to return to a tent that somehow - even though it was closed up and you know no one went inside - the flooring to the tent is filthy and you had swept it before you left. Or sometimes we just get so darn inpatient to live in The Nook already, especially when I'm cooking and I have little space. We have too much of this, we have too little of that, this takes too long, what was that noise, I have school work...
We have so much to be thankful for. We have each other, we have God watching over us, aaaaaand....
We have running!
I haven't ran in two months. Yes, two months too many. My sister's mother-in-law said: "Aren't you supposed to run every day?" Not necessarily, but even she who doesn't run knew that we had been wrong to neglect one of our biggest stress relievers: running. Our excuse is that we haven't had time, but Ryan once said to me that I need to make time.
So we did yesterday.
These trails lie behind our home. They stretch for miles and miles, connecting different hollers and taking you deep into the county. We've explored the trails, but not as thoroughly as we'd like. Sometimes the trails come out to logging roads, sometimes they lead to hunting cabins or a person's house. Our trail starts up a steep hill, quite a climb for me as I'm not much of a runner with hills, and leads to a ridge where you can see random dotting of houses, plenty of trees, and sky for miles.
It's quiet. I hear the low buzzing of the electric lines above me. Ryan and I take in the view and then head into the woods, going further down the trails.
As I run these trails, I am constantly aware of the plant life. It's important to see what is around me, identify it, and learn about it in case I need it for my family and I or a friend. You never know if you may find a plant that will save your life in a predicament one day. I want to be prepared. So I stop, take pictures, keep a mental note of it's growth each time I see it, and research it.
If we follow a certain series of turns on the trails, a few miles in we come to a grave site. These graves are very old (as early as mid-1800s; some are unmarked) and are easy to miss because they are so grown over. We may stop to view them.
Bentley ran with us this time. It was our first family run: daddy, mommy, doggy. He stayed between us for the most part, and if I lagged behind he stayed behind as well to keep an eye on me. Isn't that the sweetest? He was really enjoying it, he's probably never felt so free before.
We start heading back home. My hydration belt becomes lighter as we drink the water. At one point I pour some into Bentley's mouth, he was panting so hard.
I listen ten to my body, something I've recently started doing in my running.
How're the knees doing?
Knees doing good.
How is my form?
Could be better.
Oh yeah, gotta remember to breathe right...
Ryan and I have talked with other runners in our time as runners so far, and we've found that running is mostly mental. You can tell your body what to do and how to feel sometimes, and you can go as far as you decide to. However, you also have to listen to your body.
We're back at the ridge, and we pause so I can take pictures of daisies and we can enjoy the swaying of the tall grass and the breeze. We feel relieved. When I first came to this property, I called it Paradiso, from a song I had heard Andrea Bocelli sing. It felt like paradise to a city girl, and it still does a few years later.
So we head back down the hill, turning this way and that, yip-yipping like wild animals. I pick up speed as I descend I feel an adrenaline rush.
We're happy to be back at the tent, happy that we ran. Bentley looks like he must think he's dying.
We head down to the creek with a washtub, a pot, washrags and towels, and castile soap. We've got ticks all over us and we both need a bath!
Ryan decides the start a fire to warm up his bath water, and I'm impatient so I take mine cold. His bath water takes forever to warm up, so his isn't too warm either.
We're back to our old selves. We only ran 3.3 miles, but it was enough for us to feel happy again. Trails are our antidepressant, what's your happy alternative to synthetic antidepressant drugs? Comment below, I'm so interested to find out.
We hope everyone had a wonderful Memorial Day!
Next week should be an herbal post, so keep an eye out for that!
Thanks for reading these posts, for showing all your support. We love you guys, and appreciate your interest.
Good health to you and yours!
"...of why you live in a tent." - God (maybe)
It feels like a month, rather than just a week ago, since we left the tent to go house sit for Ryan's grandmother. I thought it would interesting to see how it'd feel to return to the tent after a week of married life in a "regular" house - after all, we've only ever lived in a tent together.
First off, we are grateful for his grandmother for letting us stay at her house during her absence, especially since I started a new semester last Monday and was stressed about that. I'm always stressed about school, the fact of Tent Life means nothing when it comes school because I'm gonna be stressed anyways. (My time management abilities are lacking.)
While being at the house, we bickered quite a bit. I'm not necessarily sure why, neither is Ryan. It could be that we're still basically newly-weds or any number of things. It's only natural that we won't agree on everything, but Ryan has another viewpoint on it: "in a strange way, the tent seems almost easier, you know? I mean, we do things a little harder but it's just more simple." It's not that we had a lot to do, but that we were much happier back in our holler living simply than we could be living any other lifestyle. This proved a little of that for us.
When we returned, the first thing Ryan noticed was the sound of the birds. We have a woodpecker we hear during the day and a whippoorwill we hear at night. I missed those two silly birds, as well as the chorus of all the others that are more apparent when you don't hear the highway.
It was weird seeing everything as we had left it. Somehow I expected something to be different at least, such as...I don't know...massive wreckage due to a bear. I know, my imagination runs wild!
Some things were different, though. The blackberry bushes and wild rose bushes are all in bloom! And it's not as muddy because the rain has been quite a bit lighter and not as often.
While at the house, Ryan and I came across a song that reminded us of our home, and you can see why by the english translated lyrics:
"This night is ours, spring in the forrest air
Let's pitch our tent among the berries over there.
Lead me, my dearest, to the grove of yesterday,
Where the brook kindly whispers and the birches sway
Light locks in motion, lingering emotion
A rose scented breeze from the Fae,
Dew drops glitter, the dale is quiet and and fair,
Dreams coming true for lovers sleeping there.
Heather blushing in the evening sun's last ray,
The cool quiet night comes after a perfect day
Light locks in motion, lingering emotion
A rose scented breeze from the Fae."
- "Vor í vaglaskógi" by Kaleo
Here's the video, it's hauntingly beautiful:
Author: Tina Potter
Master Herbalist, I've graduated as an American Healthcare College Alumnus, I've become a member of American Herbalist Guild and author of survivalist series Survival Ember co-authored by professional survivalist Kenny Dietrich of Ashland, KY. I've been beyond blessed with the constant desire to learn and teach.
COMMON SENSE NOTICE: I do not claim to diagnose, treat, or cure disease. What you do with the information I post is up to you, but it is advised to consult with a doctor before acting on alternative methods of medicine. I wish you all the best!