The meaning of life is to try everything that you have not tried yet.
Maybe this is the reason why I am here right now.
I grew up in a big, big city that has numerous tall, tall buildings with lots and lots of people.
Somehow, I decided to come here, the Ojai Valley, a year ago. And I got into a school where there are no buildings that have a second floor with less than two hundred people in total.
After living here for days, I am starting to feel that I am part of nature. What a weird thought this is, and I have never had such an idea before.
Especially on the camping trip, we just slept in sleeping bags, and considered the sky as the quilt with the ground as the bed.
And with fewer people, there are fewer distractions. I have plenty of quiet time to sit outside in nature, to be deep or lost or sunk in reverie.
Also, I have had the chance to watch the sunset since we have some free time after dinner. This is a really incredible experience to enjoy the sight of clouds and sky change their color and shapes slowly and fast.
Every breath I take sitting and watching the teardrop water fall to the ground.
I am calm, grounded, grey.
I can’t describe the smell of rain in scents, only in feelings;
calm: an encompassing blanket wrapped around my shoulders and a companion sitting by my side. We are together, we are in love, we are safe, or at least we think we are in the moment.
brave: walking alone on an empty road. Only thoughts to accompany me. I am strong, I am powerful, I am one with the nature that surrounds me. Fuck the world, society, my responsibilities; I will walk until my legs give out. And when I collapse, my time has come. Like a wild rabbit in the jaws of a wolf.
sad: the sky is crying, so am I. But the sky’s tears feed the earth, maybe mine will too.
solitude: lonely, but lonely is not always bad. Today it’s peaceful, but yesterday it was harrowing . But today it’s peaceful
The smell of rain
One second it drizzles, the next it pours.
Thunder follows lighting.
A bolt hits a tree, a fire starts
It is only natural.
Some days the rain makes me feel gloomy, somedays it makes me feel safe.
Today I feel thankful.
Thankful for the sun, thankful for the rain, thankful for the world, thankful to feel something.
“You need to fulfill your camping requirement,” the tall, built, bearded teacher who wears a Hawaiian shirt tells me. In order to graduate OVS, students must go to 2 campings a year. “You are going to Mount Pinos.” I don’t want to go.
Mount Pinos is located in the Los Padres National Forest. Its summit is 8,847 feet high, which is the peak of Ventura. I’ve been assigned to this Mount Pinos camping trip for 3 years. Relatively speaking, it’s an easy trip. Unlike the many backpacking trips that make you walk for 50 some miles. Once I went to Topa Topa backpacking trip last year and got bitten by a tick and had to dig a hole for bathroom.
Mount Pinos still looks the same: the tortuous path, the fast-moving clouds, the pine trees… Good old Mount Pinos, here we go again. It gets bitterly cold when it’s dark, so we’d start a fire. Starting a fire is easy, but keeping it going is difficult. Taking one from warmth, from civilization, from your weekend… it just seems like masochism. I don’t get it. Do people actually go camping because they like to be tortured?
Mount Pinos doesn’t have as much pine cones as it did in the previous trips. We only found 1 and a half pine cones this time. In the past, we’d burn all the pine cones we found and it would smell amazing. Maybe it’s because of the newcomers—there are way more campers than before. They would smoke stuff and play loud music. But Mount Pinos is still the same even without the pine cones. It still gives me the feeling of being far from home.