nature challenge // sleep by the water

Oceanfront camping at Porteau Cove Provincial Park. 

"First, we need to roam, and learn from nature itself. To dabble, wade, dip, wallow, and splash. Toss pebbles, or pick them up. Sleep by the water until it sounds in our dreams..." // C.L. Rawlins, My Coyote Education (1996)

My family and I took to the tent Sunday night for an impromptu evening of camping at Porteau Cove Provincial Park. We spent the afternoon walking barefoot on the beach, engrossed in the fresh, salty smell of ocean life - learning from nature itself. The warmest day on the coast this year, everything seemed to glow from within.

In bed before the sun, our little one had trouble settling, though once asleep she enjoyed a deep slumber - barely stirring when the train went by at 1am (the only downside to this park). After our difficulty getting G to sleep, I realized that we really ought to drop all semblance of a routine when camping, and embrace free-spirited living. For our next camping trip we will let Grace stay up until the sun is closer to saying goodnight, saving a few tears. Perhaps we will even introduce her to the ritual and beauty of a small campfire!

With our babe soundly sleeping, Sean and I settled into our camp chairs for a little quiet time and some wine. On the program: bats dancing over the ocean, a viewing of the evening's first star patterns, and sharing in the warmth of our small fire.

Our small fire - built as much for ritual and beauty as for warmth. 

Week one of the Nature Challenge has been splendid - I don't think we would have geared up for merely one night of camping if it weren't for the inspiration derived from knowing thousands of Canadians are thinking about their relationship with nature (as are we). I am motivated and excited to get into nature in week two! 


  1. These photos are just lovely - I feel all calm and relaxed just looking at them - and wanting to get outdoors of course!

  2. Beautiful photos Melinda! What a perfect way to spend your day/evening, outside enjoying nature! I have actually never been camping before buts its always been a dream of mine!