With the intention of evading the onslaught of homework this weekend, my brother and I decided to go camping. A slight breeze sifted through the air as we stepped out of our little 2001 Toyota Corolla and into the Pawnee Grasslands of Northeastern Colorado. As we peered into the grassy landscape we could make out two massive towers of rock looming in the distance, sentinels of some unknown land beyond. Obviously they were begging to be climbed, so Ben and I trekked through the shin high grass to do just that. We almost gave up, but finally managed to find a primitive ladder carved into the tan rock on the far side of one of the buttes.
Unlike the mountainous expanse that usually baffles me when I go hiking above timberline, this view was quite different. Stark grassland stretched as far as the eye could see. The breeze had picked up, but was still somewhat bearable, so we set up our tent on the top of the tower, thinking it would be a perfect view of the stars at night (It was more a great view of the bright moon instead). The sun set. The wind picked up, and before we knew it we were trying to sleep in a tent that acted more like a sail than anything else, moving at will. I woke up in the middle of the night to the thin material separating me from the elements periodically clobbering the back of my head. As much as I tried to shift away from the side of the tent, some other part somehow found a way to batter me again. I remember vividly smiling and laughing to myself in the middle of the night due to my useless effort to get away from the wind. Finally, after God decided he’d had enough fun, I saw a faint light brimming the horizon and soon enough the sun peeked its golden face above the grassy fields.
Thinking of that night brings laughable memories of what could have been a terrible experience. Life is molded by perspective.