It’s 1 a.m and it looks like a storm is brewing in the heavens above us.
We’ve built a campfire, cooked dinner, washed the dishes, brushed our teeth and settled down for the night. We’re dressed in about four layers of warm clothes and the wind still cuts through. The sunrise which we admired so much over the canyon has turned into a dark cold night. The wind howls around the tent tugging at the pegs that hold it down, and rustling the flap. The weather is so bad that even the friendly night-time animals that snuffle around all night have disappeared. We’re the only fools lying under a sprawling sky that looks like it’s going to rip apart any minute and pour down upon us.
The dilemma: to pack up quickly and sleep in the car so that all our gear (and us!) doesn’t get wet, or to stay in our sleeping bags in whatever warmth we have generated hoping that it passes. We decide to step out and evaluate the weather, with all our expert knowledge of mountain climate patterns.
Outside, the wind whips our hair and tears at our clothes. We start shivering uncontrollably and wrap our arms around ourselves to stay warm. Other campers in the sites next to us are doing the same thing, and we exchange sheepish smiles. In the distance, small lights glimmered from the city hundreds of miles away. Mocking with their cosy yellow lights those who chose to stay outdoors.
And we ask ourselves, why?? We had a home. We had four walls and a ceiling to protect us from the wind. We had beds and pillows and blankets. We had a fridge, cupboards, television, bathrooms, hot showers. Why did we pack a small backpack and think we could live like this? Man evolved for centuries and made the decision that we needed houses. Why do human beings do this to themselves?
And then the wind blew one last mighty gust, almost lifting us off our feet. And just like that, the ominous clouds blew over and drifted off over the city leaving us with a breathtaking night. The wind stilled, and the moonlight shone down, silvering the landscape around us. And we were left with this.
That night, the moon laughed down at us and showed us why we camp outside. For that one perfect moment.