Most days, we wake up with the rings and chimes of our alarms forcing their way into our dreams. Turn off alarm, lurch out of bed, stumble to the bathroom. Get ready for another day of work and play. It’s funny how sleeping outside changes that. This weekend, we woke without electronic prompts at about five each morning, when most of the time I refuse to leave my bed before seven. Five in the morning in the Door County woods is different than the mornings I usually know. It’s light and loud and alive, a celebration of the day to come. Streamers of pink dawn light flooded the tent and birds held rich, buoyant conversations all around our corner of the campsite. Even with less sleep, I felt more awake and rejuvenated than I normally do before a hot shower and hot coffee.
And I will learn to love the skies I’m under….. ~ Mumford & Sons
There are skies that I know intimately. Illinois-cornfield-sunset skies are the ones I know best. They are wide-open and spacious, revealing horizons several hours away, flecked with V’s of geese heading home. They wrap around lone farmsteads and the islands of trees scattered in the fields; they lay over cities like a blanket. On bright days, they soften our fields and homes, but on stormy ones, they turn green and angry, lashing out against us.