I’m a Minnesotan, I suppose, since I’ve been here longer than anywhere I’ve ever lived before. And as a Minnesotan, I camp. If I were to assign a taxonomic rank to my camping it would be: Princess. Not quite of the species Glamping — oh no, I’m still too much of a Midwesterner for that, but certainly no direct relation to the Roughing Itfamily either.
Let’s put it this way: I need a mattress and a cook surface but not a tiara and a botanical facial.
I’ve been feeling a little strange about camping lately, though. And here’s what’s keeping me up at night (on my mattress):
As my life grows increasingly more stable and secure both financially and in my community, I turn to simpler and simpler things to provide entertainment and enjoyment. But just simple enough…i.e. Princess camping…I’m picky about my chosen hardships, apparently.
And it sort of bothers me. First, I feel a little guilty for my luck in life. But no one benefits from me feeling bad about the fact that I can enjoy the luxury of going into the woods for the weekend. Second, I identify it as as becoming out of touch with nature/simple things/the basics. But again, no one benefits from my overanalysis of that point.
And someone really should be benefitting—while I overanalyze, 13,000 people will be homeless tonight.
I’m sure I don’t have it figured out yet (do you? please share!) but what I’m settled on is that by being a member in the movement to end homelessness we aren’t called to diminish our own simple pleasures and luxuries, however princess-y they may be, but to call for those same things for our neighbors who lack it today. And for many, that starts with a safe, affordable home.
With stability of finances and community comes the ability to enjoy, let up, relax, retreat to the woods. To breathe. And it’s lovely. Even without a tiara.
Sarah Mollet is Beacon’s associate director of individual giving.