Delight in the wild

Decadence.

It’s a word that slips softly off the tongue. In my daydreams of decadence, I am tempted by soft blue sheets and silence. Chocolate and wine and stories of magic charm and entice me in front of a blazing fire.

I have some experience with that kind of decadence, but over the past few days my dip into all things decadent was a bit different.

My week in words included a day to Be Decadent.

I’ve experienced a weekend’s worth. Close friends joined us as we drove a few hours south to a campsite along the Deschutes River on Friday afternoon. After successfully putting up our family tent, we walked to the water’s edge and watched several sparkling souls float by on great puffy innertubes, coolers trailing them in the clear rushing water. Parenting non-swimmers is scary, but the scene was fairly benign and my eldest is super close to swimming independently. He took to a fallen log with his friend, and they comandeered a “speed boat” from just above the bubbling water. So content. So delighted.

Camping with toddlers is not a superior experience. Our two-year-old was stricken with a mild fever the day we headed out, and proceeded to develop a summer-style cold that made him uncomfortable but not bed-worthy. He woke up several times the first night we slept in the tent, and everyone felt tired in the morning. But as day broke and coffee brewed, I felt a part of the universe that only sleeping outdoors can make happen.

Shoes? No shoes? Whatever. We foraged from coolers and washed beneath the cold rushing water of the camp faucets down the road. Tiny rabbits hopped into camp to watch us, and we watched them.

Sunscreen was a must as we walked into the river under the hot. hot sun. So were s’mores.

Decadence is defined as being marked by self-indulgence or pleasure. An alternative definition is being marked by decay or decline.

I choose the former definition.

As we gathered to dine last night, I asked my sons to tell us those things for which they are grateful. The eldest said, “awesome swimming lessons!” and the youngest said, “basketball hoops!”. We were home.

Neither basketball hoops nor swim lessons have anything to do with the days spent experiencing a gorgeous part of our state. No matter. It was a perfectly decadent weekend together sharing time and smiles and dialog and food and sun and rest and moments of five-and-under frustation and tears.

I can’t wait to do it again.

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