Simpler Times

The tent lay in a pile of confusing mesh-y fabric on the ground in front of us, along with a handful of poles and some metal stakes.  It had been a little over a decade since Jon had gone camping and much longer than that for me, and actually when I went camping as a girl I am pretty sure I stood around in my cut-off jean shorts and over-sized t-shirt while my mom and dad actually did all the work setting up camp.

“Okay, a tent is not rocket science, we can do this!”  we both agreed.

And we did, and it didn’t take very long at all. Later that evening as we were making dinner we marveled at the bounty before us.  Fish, a can of corn, and some dinner rolls.

“What a magnificent feast!” we proclaimed as we delighted in this delicious meal and gushed over the gourmet seasonings of salt and pepper and brushed flies off our fish and scooped more canned corn out of the pot with a plastic teaspoon.

We laughed and talked as we washed our dishes and cleaned up our dinner.

“I like talking to you.”  I thought.

Afterward, we pulled up our camp chairs to face the aspen forest that lined our campsite and sipped our Simpler Times beer from the can ($3.99 for a six-pack from Trader Joe’s, if you’re curious about where to find such a classy beverage) and talked about the kids and God and life as the sun set behind the mountains.

“We are so well suited for each other” I said silently to myself.

And it’s true.  We have always been in strong agreement on our political, theological and parenting views and although how we interpret and express them can differ (classic story, INTP marries INFJ), I have always known I have a true partner in Jon.

Jon and Kirsten.  Mountains and trees.  Canned corn and Simpler Times.

Why didn’t we fight while putting up the tent?  He didn’t annoy me.  I didn’t frustrate him.  We didn’t rush.  We just worked, together.  We accomplished, together.  

Why didn’t I mumble my over-used “sorry this isn’t anything special” apology over an under-seasoned meal of fish and canned vegetables?

 Why do I feel so content?

Why is it so easy to forget how much I love this man?

The easy answer is because it was just us.  No kids hitting each other while we are trying to clean up after dinner.  No students’ spiritual lives dependent upon whether we could put up our tent effectively (or not).  No busy bedtime routine moving us along.  No TV shows or blogs or podcasts calling our attentions away from each other.  The rocks and trees and wildflowers in our mountain meadow didn’t require that we attend to them in any way.

It was just us.

I want to walk with you
On a cloudy day
In fields where the yellow grass grows knee-high
So won’t you try to come

Come away with me…

Isn’t that the song we first danced to on our wedding day?  

So all I ask is for you
To come away with me in the night
Come away with me

Our seven year anniversary is just about here, and for such a relatively short time to be married, and for such a happy, like-minded, non-confrontational, Jesus-loving couple; baggage and scars and fatigue and fighting and hurting and burdens and failure have played their parts well.

“And I have missed you.” I think.

Come away with me and we’ll kiss
On a mountaintop
Come away with me
And I’ll never stop loving you


3 thoughts on “Simpler Times

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