Previous Challenge Entry (Level 1 – Beginner)
Topic: Camping (07/11/05)
- TITLE: Home Is Where The Heart Is
By Nina Phillips
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Sadara looked back on her country roots, and upbringing with particular fondness. The definition of home to her: being raised up living in a tent.
Her father had instilled within her a sense of independence, and reliance alone as reality of the spiritual person and realm, during her early years. Setting her apart, a far greater distance from worldly values, thoughts and troubles. She wasn't frightened of what was ahead in her life. She had learned from these camping experiences, the ability to look life right in the eye.
Her father had placed in her heart, a love for the great outdoors. She was indeed his child born free. An inheritance that was quite priceless, although it could never be bought with a single penny that she earned.
On clear nights she merely grabbed a blanket and slept soundly under the stars, with her father nearby. He was happily keeping constant vigil over her.
She played imaginatively through the days, scouting through the woods, often pretending that she was an indian. Practicing stealth, by carefully walking through the leaves without hearing them crunching beneath her bare feet.
She marked paths with a scrape on a tree, and broken twigs placed carefully like camouflaged pointing arrows. Studiously, she squatted close to the ground, checking out the variety of footprints of animals, attempting to track them through their habitat's, into their secret lairs.
Sometimes, she found herself disctracted and fascinated with other objects of interest along the way. Picking berries, fruits and herbs that were good to snack on.
Sadara found that fishing was an awesome discovery, and somewhat challenging, with a sharp stick. Although later on, she thoughtfully carried with her some heavy string, a hook, a good knife.
She could tell time by the position of the sun, and always made it home on time for a good hearty meal. The hours crept by slowly then, by mere quarters of an inch. Most of all, Sadara slept peacefully as if in a blissful dream through the night.
She quickly graduated to creating tents out of old sheets, that her mother would have tossed away as worthless. Choosing the right form of sturdy branches, and keeping up a stock of them, with other trappings. These she would plant carefully and deep, in a choice area, so it wouldn't by mere circumstance topple over.
(Like rain, for instance, at one time caused her to rush madly for another cover, in the wee hours of the morning)
In a process of time, her tents developed into a single decorative ornament of it's own, adding to the flavorful colors of the luscious landscape.
"It is said, 'that one man's trash is another man's treasure.' So, true," she said as she mentally quoted this wonderful thought. "Lord, the same can be said about your people too," she humbly submitted.
It was here that Sadara often pitched her tent, far away from what many would today consider Sodom or Gomorra. Within the beauty of her father's flowered gardens, wooded hills, and hedged valleys.
Her father owned the cattle on a thousand hills, and it seemed to Sadara that the world was one big camp ground, that belonged to him. Whether we camped in houses made of brick and stone, or homes made from a card-board box, or a colorful sheet.
Her preference was the same as her brother David's, who many years ago said, "Surely goodness and mercy shall follow me all the days of my life, and I will dwell in the house of the Lord forever."
(KJV) Psalms 23:6
Home is where your heart is.
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