It is exactly on week before my wedding. It is 9:03 pm, and my legs are warm under my fleece sweats from the fire a few feet in front of me. The pre-Fall cool night is setting in around us as Verdict* plays on our car stereo. I am surrounded by to of my brothers, my older brother's girlfriend, and my soon to be husband...husband...husband...
How strange? Some day 20 years from now, I will look back on my life before my marriage and remember this very camp out. I will remember the nerves settling in. I will remember the excitement about having all my family together. I will remember the warmth of knowing at the end of every day, there is someone on my side, by my side, to hold my hand, to take care of me, to smile at me and kiss my forehead.
I will remember being able to camp out instead of being frantic and up to my ears in wedding planning. I will remember putting up my first tent, roasting marshmallows for s'mores, eating my first camp fire cooked hot dog, and laying under the stars, warm in my anam cara's arms (my soul mate ;o) ).
There is something magical, something enticing, something indescribable about the radiating warmth of a fire. The flames lick and hug the tree limbs almost lovingly just before burning them into nothing but a pile of forgotten ashes, permanently erasing all the growth and history that tree limb held. The heat permeates your skin leaving a tingling across your being as the coolness of night fights with it to hug you. There is a oneness with nature as the plants and animals continue their existence as if you are not even there. And the peace, oh the peace of letting the real world slip away and nature's healing set in, there's nothing like it.
I do believe this was the perfect way to spend my last weekend as an unmarried woman.
*My fiance's best man is the vocalist for Verdict. They are a little heavier than my normal taste, but these guys hold so much talent and so much passion. It blows you away every time, even if you don't normally listen to that sort of style. His best man writes most of the songs himself, as well as much of the actual music. It is an amazing skill I cannot even begin to wrap my head around.