You can take the girl out of the campfire but you can’t take the campfire out of the girl. Traces of it in my hair, my (roommate’s) silver padded Patagonia jacket. I’m back with gritty nails- half bitten, inedible sausages. I’ve accrued mysterious bruises along my side and the confident gait of one who has traversed mountains.
I’ve walked amongst the dead, charred bodies of pine cones, black as tar. Amongst micro-forests, little colonies of plants like shrunken trees. I found myself on the set of Brother Bear, surveying creeks and slender trunks on which feral grey squirrels darted back and forth. I dared myself to drink from the fresh ice-water rushing along the granite and imagined the bacteria settling in my stomach, teeming with protean life.
I learned how to roll a sleeping bag properly- a laborious affair. In America, it’s a standard mom thing to pack sleeping bags for their children, I’ve been told. I remember my favourite blanket was a padded princess sleeping bag my dad would sometimes zip me up in. I remember the pink and the baby blue, the yellow of her crown, the cotton lining a hot cocoon around my body- I learned the hard way that my feet like to breathe.
I used my electric toothbrush, lined up for hot cocoa and breakfast oatmeal- thanks to the portable water heater. Snap-stories failed to post… But I peed a couple of times in the bushes to make up for my sins. Let’s pretend it’s not my first rodeo.