A Weekend in Wompatuck
In the forest, under the cover of giant trees, light fades sooner than it does elsewhere. Lying in semi-darkness on Westly’s bed at 5:00 p.m, looking through the screened window of the pop-up tent, I could see the sun shining brightly beyond the tree tops. Laying still with Georgia and Pippin by my side and no responsibilities, I watched the specks of sunlight play peek-a-boo between the leaves.
My time at Wompatuck State Park was spent contemplating and dreaming but mostly just existing.
Being with only my dogs, gave me the opportunity to grow even closer to them. My days are typically filled with work, errands to run and people to take care of. I’m pulled in so many directions at once, exist on very little sleep and too often, my dogs and cats are left wanting. It kills me. Their lives are far too short and the last thing I want, is to regret not having spent more time with them or given them everything I could have given them while I’m lucky enough to have them here with me. They give me so much, yet expect nothing in return.
I can’t explain how magical this weekend with them was. Watching them go from wondering why the heck we weren’t heading back home when night fell, to then witnessing their individual characters emerge, seeing them relish the freedom to run, roll in the dirt and have me all to themselves, filled my heart, like helium fills and expands a balloon. There were moments when all I could do was sit and watch them; watch them sleep, my hands resting on their bellies as they rose and fell, watch them explore the anthill, watch them sniff the air chuffing when something delectable filled it. I don’t consider them pets. I consider them friends. They’ve quietly sat by me through some of my most difficult times. They’ve placed their big heads on me while tears fell. They’ve danced around the living room with me during moments of celebration. They are forever pure, always honest in their intent and when my eyes fall on theirs, I see nothing but love and I realize just how important they are to me. They deserve so much more than simple little me. That weekend, I made a promise to them, that I would make more time for escapes like this.
Wompatuck, as a campground, left me wanting a little more. A lot of the campsites were pretty small with room for simply a car and a tent. Same thing on the electrical hookup side. Not a lot of privacy between each site either but I imagine, if camping at the very beginning or very end of camping season, when not many people show up, it would be a very different experience. There were restrooms with showers every few roadways and water available on each road. It seemed that I had new neighbors each morning, as if the grounds were simply used as an overnight stop for campers on their journey to elsewhere. A walk around the grounds did turn up some really nice sites that were huge and private. Perhaps I’ll try one of these on another visit. All the sites were nicely shaded by the trees but I would have loved to have been able to view a pond, the ocean or a mountain.
I’ve heard so many people say, on the road, you can’t eat like you’re used to eating at home. I did my best to follow a good nutritional menu and Westly, with his ice box, allowed three bags of ice to keep my food cold and fresh for four days.
So, for the most part, I had no changes in what I chose to eat and didn’t have to sacrifice taste. I even bought a new set of dishes at the local REI along with a Solio Xcellerator solar power charger and rug to protect Westly’s floor.
Regardless of what the campground had to offer in amenities, most importantly, it offered me solace from an arduous two years. I found myself at peace; calmed and slowed during the day with evenings spent reading by the light of the lantern, brushing my dogs and watching fireflies blinking around Westly. I haven’t seen fireflies since I was a kid visiting relatives in Tennessee. Memories of times gone by can be bittersweet but mostly sweet, for me. We needed this weekend and Wompatuck. In this moment, it gave us exactly what we sought.