Recipe for Camping–Karen LaGrave Small

Recipe for Camping: Fiction

Have fun camping!

Living off grid,
no cell service,
no heat,
no fluffy bed,
no teddybear.

What to take?
Not much.
Leave your house.
Bring your home.

Wear your bare feet.
Sleep on the ground.
Hear the birds.
Count them.
Make lists of plants, trees, insects.

Feel the sun
or the mist
or the wind
or the rain.

Forgot something?
Forget it all.
Live like your life is real.
Like all is here.
Like you are lost.

If you’re not lost, lose yourself.
Release into the rawness of nature.
Release until all your leaves fall off.

Be naked.
Be bee.
Be butterfly.
Be ocean.
Be lake.
Be sky.
Anything but human.

Until you are awake.

Let the longing go.
Let the wanting go.
Let mars pass over
like a red ball in the sky.
Let the stars shine.

Stumble forward until you fall.
Let the mud embrace your body.
Suffer as much as you need.

Let the sun be where it wants to be.

Have fun camping.


Karen LaGrave Small is a painter and writer living full time in her Artist Casita in Manzanita, Oregon. She writes and paints what is present and relevant in her life. Themes often include environmental challenges and person pursuits. For the first time in many years, she took up camping.