Although this looks as though we pitched a tipi up in our front yard, we actually drove almost five hours through several towns and along a stretch of corrugated dirt road to arrive at this little slice of heaven.
Sand in our sleeping bags, the smell of camp fire lingering in our hair and on the napes of neck, we slept snuggled and huddled like dogs for extra warmth at night. Although this was the first week of spring, there was still a bite in the night air which only seemed to defrost about half an hour after sunrise.
This time away revealed that I need to do this more often with my family. To be able to prioritise this communal headspace without guilt or excuses. I was also reminded of how little we actually need to live comfortably. The basics; a solid clean, dry space, electricity, hot running water and a soft warm bed to sleep, these are the things we all learned to re-appreciate and that we enjoyed when we arrived home from our road trip.
At night we had solitude from distractions such as the TV and computers. We had each others company, passively being entertained through observation of each others behaviours, talking and sharing our dreams and thoughts in considered conversations. The kids made us laugh and they were engrossed in their own world of play, stories, card games and the joy of playing with a torch in the dark. The camp fire was something we all looked forwards to getting started and the marshmallow packet was ripped open long before we managed to get the first fire started. The kids raced around searching for twigs and sticks for the campfire and their 'mellows, and Matty and I oiled and salted up the local lamb cutlets in preparation to be cooked on a hot plate directly over the fire. The sounds of melamine cups clinkered in the background, as regularly as the bush pigeons cooing in the treetops. Sprinkles of milo and sticky brown covered spoons were left in trails behind the kids.
At what felt like midnight, the kids passed out diagonally and crossways across the bedding inside of the tipi and a time check revealed that it was only a few minutes shy from 8pm. Matty and I sat snuggled by the fire for hours, soaking in each others presence like a sunbather under the sun.
Five days was all it took. A recharge for the mind, body and soul. This is the chariot that will power us through until the next planned road trip which we have penciled in to celebrate the beginning of Summer.