I was talking with a friend recently about our mutual love of great children’s literature. I can remember my Grandfather reading from a collection of Aesop’s fables to me and I can still feel the excitement of a child’s imagination allowed to explore the magic. I’ve never lost the compulsion to draw analogies between life and literature; thus the renewed obsession with one of my all time favorites: The Wind in the Willows by Kenneth Grahame.
As we prepare our camper for a long trip, friends are out hunting for their first vehicle to hit The Open Road in. The fun is in the hunt, Deb and Bert. Enjoy looking for your new home on the road and we are looking forward to a shared campfire soon.
It is fascinating to hear how, in the story, Toad describes his first “camper” and I can really relate to his excitement!
” There’s real life for you, embodied in that little cart. The open road, the dusty highway, the heath, the common, the hedgerows, the rolling downs! Camps, villages, towns, cities! Here to -day, up and off to somewhere else to-morrow! Travel, change, interest, excitement! The whole world before you, and a horizon that’s always changing! And mind! this is the very finest cart of its sort that wa sever build, without any exception. Com e inside and look a the arrangements. Planned ’em all myself, I did!”
It was indeed very compact and comfortable. Little sleeping bunks – a little table that folded up against the wall- a cooking-stove, lockers, bookshelves, a bird -cage with a bird in it; and pots, pans, jugs and kettles of every size and variety.”
Most of our friends are a bit puzzled and few are a bit horrified that we will be living in such a small space for so long, but we are undaunted. Toad’s friend Rat declared that he would have none of it and most of our friends are of the same mind.
Toad declares, “I’m not coming, and that’s flat. And I am going to stick to my old river, and live in a hole, and boat, as I’ve always done. And what’ s more, Mole’s going to stick with me and do as I do.”
So, what is the fascination with camping? One notable benefit is sleeping soundly. How often do you hear people complaining about either insomnia or being chronically sleep deprived? Do you ever hear a camper get up and exclaim that they never slept a wink last night ? Why is that?
Researchers at University of Colorado Boulder have found that taking a seven-day respite from the chaos of modern living by unplugging your electrical devices, heading for the hills, and living with only natural light is the antidote for many things, including insomnia. They advise that the next time you are planning a summer vacation, you might consider heading for the wilderness if you want to reset your biological clock and put your body and mind back in synch with the world around you.
It’s long been known that he rising and setting of the sun directly impacts our circadian rhythms. Natural daylight impacts the function of every cell in our bodies. Sunlight dictates when our bodies prepare for sleep and when we prepare for wakefulness. In their study at UCB, researchers found that in our modern world, these strong biological forces are thrown out of whack. During their week in the wilderness, the campers were exposed only to sunlight and the glow of a campfire. All personal electronic devices and any form of artificial light including flashlights were banned for the entire week. Sleep patterns were reset and that has an impact on overall health.
So sleep tight under the compassionate moon and the watching stars! See you on the Open Road.
Colors of the Prairie.