Friends will ask us how we can camp every summer out in nature where it is so quiet at night. First, I try to explain that with our crew it is NEVER quiet ANYWHERE! Although each year my husband and I keep hoping. And second, I try to explain that nature is never quiet, least of all at night.
We camped a few nights in the rustic setting of a Virginia state park. No electricity. No pool. No playground. The children weren’t too happy about it…at first. But as the darkness blanketed the mountaintops of the park, they were filled with awe. God dotted his canvas with dancing lights while we dotted our tiny space with Coleman and campfire light. Battery-operated lamps were used inside the camper. Fire flies danced in lace patterns against the summer trees surrounding our home away from home.
It was not quiet at night, even without all the children’s chatter. A cacophony of insects sang us to sleep as acorns and sticks plunked onto our hard-shelled roof or soft sleeper ends of the camper. We heard the bullfrogs calling for a mate in the nearby pond, and the birds settling down for the night in the trees. Then the questions and the giggling would start in the trailer.
“Mom, I heard a snake slither under the camper,” our son said.
All four of his sisters screamed.
“First off,” I tried to explain to the girls. “How can he hear slithering with all the bug noises outside?”
The girls quieted down.
Then I added, “Besides, snakes don’t slither under campers unless absolutely necessary. Like maybe escaping from a fire.”
More screaming. I started to giggle as all five children unzipped their canvas windows to check to see if there was a fire outside.
I guess this was why my husband slept with his pillow over his head instead of under, so that he could, in fact, sleep.