Packing Up Camp
It can be a hard thing to pack up base camp from a familiar place that has become a headquarters to hang your hat after a days travelling. In the process, you lose things, you find them again and some things, you must throw out.
It's always a struggle to decide what’s worth keeping and what can be left behind for someone else to enjoy when they make camp after you.
I think one of the hardest parts, is reflecting on the memories you had at that particular spot (good and bad) and the uncertainty you now face having to relocate and set up camp someplace new. Change can be hard, painful even, regardless of whether its necessary for growth.
One of the struggles we face as humans with ego’s is letting go of material things. Animals don’t have that problem. Even the Bowerbird, collector of all things broken and beautiful, are particular about the materials they use to build their structures.
Animals instinctually know when it’s the right time to abandon a nest, cave, den or lair too. Even when its time to leave behind a pack, flock or mob when they outgrow them and are ready for the next stage of life.
The weather, seasons, time and environment are factors to this, of course, but animals don’t do what humans do and linger over things past its time. Animals also know how to take their time and what serves their self-preservation best.
The Welcome swallow is beautiful example of this. They have slow growing wings that are not affected by food intake unless they are starving.
Scientifically, this suggests that the Welcome swallow prioritizes wing growth, even when fasting for hours. It is also believed that the swallow accumulates fat in order to survive time periods where food may be scarce, or conditions may be bad. This allows rapid growth when conditions are good and stable growth when conditions are bad.
Winter hibernation is not a new concept and we are all programmed to hide when the big cold comes. It’s a survival mechanism, intrinsic to our DNA. What fascinates me is what is the signal to wake up and how do animals not go stir crazy when they are stuck in one place too long. Whether human or animal, neither species fares well upon forced enclosure and when we are feeling caged and constricted, compressed by either restrictions or responsibilities and unable to wander the physical spirit treks, we default to wandering the internal spirit paths.
I personally pour over maps and memories, rewatch videos and nostalgically stream through photos of the paths less travelled and wonder if I could find that spot again and take the other tracks. Wouldn’t we all love to go back and try a different path, take a different turn and see if we came out at a completely different destination. However, those reflections can often be detrimental when we spend too much time invested in the past.
Sometimes, we get far too distracted with daydreams or immersed in memories and we forget about the present situation and refocusing is required to find which direction we are, we may have even lost our way a bit. Then the overwhelm hits. We overcompensate for the lost time or lost paths and we push and push, depleting our reserves and stores to try and funnel it into more energy. We lose our balance. We may fall.
We might ask for help but we might not say it in a way that makes sense so it’s a mad scramble for our supports to decipher. You might try too hard to juggle all of the things and just feel like you can’t trust anyone to perform the task as you would or maybe the right people just aren’t listening. Maybe your ego holds you back because you feel shunned and disconnected so you don’t bother and end up isolating yourself and building walls to shut people out when your whole goal is to move out of the walls anyways.
Often, we can do this to ourselves unintentionally, by either trying to speed up, slow down or stop something that we didn’t mean to start in the first place ends us right back where we started, this time in a bit of an emotional downpour. All we can do in those times, is hold on to our anchors and hope for the best.
A compass always helps, realigning with which way is true North. And you might find some unexpected help and comfort from neighbours or other travelers.
It's important to rest, take things slow. Rome wasn’t built in a day and it wasn’t packed up in a day either. Epic things don’t come easy. But they leave the most remarkable legacy and at the end of the day, we all just want to be remembered fondly and take the best memories of our camp spots with us, leave the negative ones behind but take the lessons you learned from them for future travels.
So, fall. just don’t unpack there. You have so many more amazing adventures waiting for you. The innuendo that change is as good as holiday can be followed by these wise words:
‘Sometimes our lives have to be completely shaken up, changed and rearranged to relocate us to the place we are meant to be.”
If you have been struggling with the big changes, big emotions or big rains, my advise is to assess the things you can control, let go of what you can’t, and trust that the pathways you have taken have led you right where you are meant to be at this time, in this moment.
The Big rain doesn’t last forever. The frost will eventually melt. And a new camp guarantees you will see something new and wonderful, like wildflowers and nesting birds you didn’t even realise were waiting. Say goodbye to your camp with gratitude, knowing your footprints have left behind something for the next person to discover.
Nothing but love and light xxx