My camping journal from the past couple of days seems to be swirling around the topic of gratitude … and experiencing it in the most “mundane” of places.

I guess that’s one of the joys of holidays, camping, slowing down, noticing what’s involved in “routine” tasks like cooking or showering or shopping … because they’re not routine here.

Spoiled for kindness

At the public toilet in Gerringong, not one but two hands appeared under my door. “Here! I saw that loo was out of paper.”

Two different women, on either side, made sure I was well supplied.

Ah – so many needs met in that simple act: consideration, kindness, mattering, ease … trust in humanity’s natural compassion and willingness to make life more wonderful for each other.

Watching them walk

My shoes grew increasingly uncomfortable on a morning walk with my hubby and daughter. I sat down on a sunny rock to take in the sea air while they went ahead onto the rocks to look over at the crashing ocean. I felt such delight, seeing them talk together. It’s not always so. Connection, nurture, peace … hope.

 

Three shades of cloud

At sunset, my big sister and I ducked down to the beach to see the sun dropping behind the clouds – purple at one end, gold at the other.

Then, an hour or so later, walking with my daughter at pitch black. We stood still and watched the moon get swallowed by a cloud.

The beach turned even darker … but the stars seemed to Shine brighter.

“Stars!” My daughter exclaimed. “They change my mood, just like that” … for the better I heard. Awe and appreciation of nature, beauty, connection. A bit of transcendence thrown in there too for good measure.

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Real estate alert

On a walk with my sister and brother-in-law, we drooled about living in a duplex, side-by-side on this cliff face, gazing out to the ever-changing sea at Gerroa.

My bro-in-law says he’s been on the list for property alerts. Joy, choosing our dreams, companionship. Yeah, there’s other ways to meet those needs. But we can connect with them right here and now through what some may call envy … and may also be known as longing.

Easement?

In property terms, an easement is the space you might be required to leave by law for pubic egress. Like this green walkway across the front of the properties. One way we could ease our envy was to think of downsides about living here.

For example, most days, you’d be pointed at by passersby … appreciating or craving your lifestyle. What a view! Hmmm, I reckon I could bear that. A constant reminder of one big reason to feel glad.  Gratitude, fun.

 

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Un-easement

Yeah, pretty sure that’s not a word. But it describes the state my mind was in as I snuggled into my sleeping bag with my book last night.

Rain pelting on a canvas tent is not quite as soothing as hearing it against a sturdy tin roof or solid glass windows. There was pleasure about the sound, feeling snug. And also worry about leaks and whether our set-up would “hold up”.

Still, we were warm and dry enough.

I drifted off, grateful for shelter … and for plan b, which would be to seek refuge in the car. Yep, even in my unease, so many needs are met … or will be met in the foreseeable future. Gratititude. Contentment. Peace.

I can take it with me

Maybe I’m inviting myself to consider how to stay connected to these qualities when I return to our suburban “routine” life?

What did your last vacation help you appreciate?