Life Is A Campsite, Bring The Marshmallows


“Only God owns; the rest of us rent.”
– Noah benShea

As part of my daily routine I walk in the morning through a state campsite on the bluffs overlooking the ocean near my home. My mind and spirit ride the breeze with the gulls as I say my inner prayers, think on things in my life, and watch the people, old and young, relaxed and cursing as they try to roll their RV into the allotted spaces. And it got me thinking – all of life is a campsite.

Only God owns; the rest of us rent. In this life all of us get a campsite to hang out in for a day or two or 70 years, and then its time to head down the road, or catch the elevator to other heights. If your elevator is going up.

We all, if we’re lucky, get to sit around a campfire with family and friends and tell stories, remember old stories, warm our hands, and even then feel the cool wind of time and mortality at our back. Even if that campfire is simply your living room, or kitchen table. Family and friends trump environment.

As kids we are of a mind that these times together will never end, and because to a child moments are forever, there is a truth to this feeling of faith. But at the end of the day, or days, each of us are allotted we are not confused that a moment is just that and the smoke circles and swirls away. And the challenge in life is to be graced with great moments, have the grace to treasure the moments, and not to take any moment for granted for that is a sucker punch. Every morning in every park, the ranger comes through and notes the date on the piece of paper you have stuck on your RV’s or tent. And when its time to go, there is no discussion. You’re taking up a space that is no longer yours, and someone is waiting.

We are all waiting for a space. Being born is when a space becomes available. Dying is when its time for us to be in another space, in another form, and every campsite campfire pit is filled with the ashes of those who stayed the night before. And before that. And ashes to ashes. And the ocean rolls. And there is always another tide.

I loved camping out with my family when I was a kid. And though my parents are both gone, I can still draw warmth from those memories even in the ashes which themselves lend no warmth. And this is the courage of memory and the awareness that life is a campsite. In a life that is too short the wise thing to do – in the face of all life’s trials and tribulations – is to remember to bring the marshmallows.

Noah benShea, Copyright 2010 All Rights Reserved