Growing up I thought that I had a normal childhood. In recent years some events have lead to me "reremembering" things that I had locked away from myself. I guess my brain figures I am an adult now and can handle remembering the way things really were so it removed my little-kid-rose-colored-glasses.

Anyway, tonight I was out in our back yard burning some dead bushes we had torn out a while ago. Due to the burn ban we havent been able to get rid of them until this week. Early in the evening my husband was with me sawing the larger sticks with his saw and setting them aside for use in the house in the winter. The kids were playing and the dogs were running around. As the evening grew later the kids started heading in to get ready for bed. My son mentioned that something was wrong with the light in his room. Apparently there is a short in the wiring and him and my husband have been working on it for the last few hours. So I was outside, just me and the 3 dogs and the fire as the sun was going down.

I have always loved the mountains and campfires. For as long as I can remember I have. Sitting out there alone tonight and tending the fire my mind was wandering. It was running along some memories I have of camping with my family as a child. A horrible, terrible thought occurred to me but I will have to get back to that after some explaining.

My childhood was not a great one. I thought it was just the way growing up was at the time but now I have learned that some people grow up loved. I was very isolated from other people and had to learn to survive despite my moms best efforts. Camping was wonderful though. Mom hated dirt so she didnt leave the camper trailer very often. She also didnt really want us kids in there as we tended to get dirty about two minutes after we arrived. That left me with amazing freedom! Dad was always outside with us but mom never was so camping was great. I loved everything about camping. I am still so very comfortable in the woods. The more remote and wild…the better as far as I am concerned.

When I was about 8 years old my Dad showed me how to start a fire using a warm ember from the fire the night before. From that moment on I would always try to wake up early. If I could get up before anyone else, I would go outside, let my dog off her leash, check the coals for warm spots and if there was one……carefully uncover it, add dry tinder and gently blow until I had a flame. Then I would sit there with my precious dog and just enjoy the peace of being there.

Back to the horrible thought…….It occurred to me that perhaps I dont love mountains, camping and campfires because I just love them? Maybe that was one of the only times that my mom left me be long enough to have some peace and heal my little soul? This thought hit me suddenly while I was out tonight. I sat down and tears just started coming. I dont cry often but I couldnt even stop the sobs. I am not even entirely sure why I was crying but I have an idea. My 3 wonderful dogs. The little one hopped up on the bench and then into my lap. She licked a tear off then just sat there leaning against my chest. My big dog sat on the ground behind the bench and put his head near mine (he is so big sitting on the ground his head was slightly higher than my shoulder). I placed an arm around his neck. My other dog lay down at my feet looking up at me. We all sat there like that for nearly an hour. I stopped crying sometime in there and just sat with the dogs, looking at the fire embers and the stars.

I would hate to think that mom stole even the joy of mountains and camping from me. I have decided to try and believe that I simply love them because I do. If that terrible thought does win, I wont let that steal something wonderful from me. I will tell myself that I enjoy them now and it doesnt matter how I came to enjoy them 🙂 It just doesnt matter.

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