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Thursday, August 20, 2009

Rantings of a Happy Camper: Part Two--The Rock Dam

Rantings of a Happy Camper: the things you think about when you're living in the woods
It's basically just a collection of random thoughts, experiences, and stories that came about during my camping trip.
Part Two: The Rock Dam
"The Rock Dam" probably doesn't invoke the same flood of memories, ideas, and thoughts for you as it does for me, so I suppose a bit of background is in order. For as long as I can remember, every time we've gone to a family reunion or gone camping, (any summertime event at that site, really) there was a habitual building up of the rock dam. I remember being told at a young age, when I had become decidedly bored with the shallow depth of the creek, that it could be improved by the simple movement of rocks. Every year, even when my father was a child, the rock dam has been built up to create the ideal creek, only to break again sometime between that reunion and the next. But that certainly isn't a complaint, for if something is not broken, there is no need to fix it, and fixing it, in this case, is more than half the fun.
And so it came about, last weekend, as I was placing rocks that had fallen back on the dam, that I thought about this: the time line of this dam--its past, its present, its future. Will this still be a great entertainment in ten years? Twenty? Fifty? No one can say. I felt hopeless for a moment at the thought: We've so much technology already in this age, it's a wonder the dam is still being built; the future can only hold more "improvements" which, I'll admit, may make life easier (or entertainment more accessible from any place), but then what is to become of these simple pleasures? But that isn't to say we're helpless to what the future holds. By example, we can teach. By simply continuing in what we have done, we encourage future generations to do the same. And to think--this is how tradition is born; this is how tradition lives and breathes. We can't guarantee a tradition's survival, but when one does his part in carrying it out, he must simply rely on the future generation's willingness to continue in those ways, to hopefully see the same value in it. It's like planting a seed--you can water it and enjoy it, and you don't know whether in 10 years it will be flourishing or pulled out or ignored, but you do know that there is no great chance of anyone enjoying it if you don't plant it.

So that's it--just a few thought thunk while moving rocks after little sleep in a tent in the woods.

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