We've been sleeping outside every night for over a week now, and we have no intention of stopping anytime soon. Usually, around 10PM, we bundle up, grab our books and headlamps, and say goodnight to Tyler's mom, Jodi. Invariably she'll exclaim something like, "it's getting down to 20°F tonight!", and we'll smile, assuring her that we'll be plenty warm, and make for the door.
Then comes my favorite part: the first step into the great outdoors, when a vast sky of brilliant stars towers above, and a cold, early-winter wind blows in my face. Last night, we were scared half to death by a great flapping and wooshing of wings on our way to the tent—an owl had taken flight from its perch in the trees overhead. It's moments like this that make me feel fully alive.
When the initial rush of being outside has passed, and the chill air creeps towards my bones, we scurry into the tent, burrow deep into our sleeping bag, and settle in for an hour or so of reading by headlamp, before falling fast, fast asleep.
In the morning, we poke our heads out of our warm cocoon, and a rush of cold air seeps into the nooks, crannies, and nether-reaches of our sleeping bag. Then, we slip out of our downy bed, and pad groggily back to the house, shoes crunching atop frozen grass and leaves. It’s very still and dark out; often, the world is wrapped in thick pillows of fog.
Safely indoors, we gravitate like moths to a flame, fluttering to the fireplace in the living room. Taking up residence in front of the hearth, I am so grateful for it's warmth. Tyler and I sit close, reading as we bask in its flickering glow, feeling quiet and contemplative and content. And yet, some part of me remains restless and filled with longing; I cannot wait until we're warming ourselves by a fire in the woods of Vermont!
The world outside gradually lightens, and so begins another day.