the gift of wilderness

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“I love cooking in nature,” Liam tells me. He tosses the scrambled eggs around the pan gently with a fork. He’s carefully improvising the spatula I have forgotten. Nearby, two trees cradle Olive and her blankie. She has climbed into the high hammock by herself and smiles at us as if to say, Look at me! Look what I can do. And the trees echo her as they release a torrent of color into the air, swirling deliberately, gathering at our feet. The fire pops another acorn where Burke and Blythe sit flipping cards and planning our day: a long hike? explore a cave? play in the river? S’mores? Yes. All of it. Knowingly, Mark hands me a cup of hot coffee as he does most mornings, only today he doesn’t need to rush off to work. This morning he stands with me between the fire and the fog lying over the hills.

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We camped on the Frio River last weekend–a little belated celebration for my birthday. There were no candles or wrapping paper. Still, it was the best of gifts.

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