Clean Underwear Day

This essay was written in response to the prompt: “Cultivating a sense of ‘enough’ in a culture of more.” I owe the inspiration and space to let my creative juices flow to the young ladies of Semester 33 who were in my third expedition group.

Today is clean underwear day and I am pretty excited. I have waited until more than half the trip was over because I knew day five would be a sweaty one and I wanted to preserve the clean pair just a little longer. It’s not that these new undergarments are special—they’re nude-colored, Patagonia, mid-rise—rather it’s the ritual and symbolism of it all. Putting on clean underwear in the middle of a backpacking trip is kind of like brushing my teeth, or, if I’m really getting into it, flossing. Hand washing with soap is another fulfilling ritual, essentially equivalent to showering. These are all behaviors that define time in the wilderness.

Last night I got up to pee on three separate occasions, marking my territory and an evening filled with several cups of tea and hot cocoa. Unzipping my sleeping bag let in the cold night air, which was mildly annoying since I had achieved such a cozy temperature inside. Out on the slick rock, the canyon walls rose up around me, framing a small triangle of starlit sky. The finite space seemed filled with infinite twinkles, both Orion and the Big Dipper sneaking into my view. Worth getting out of my sleeping bag for sure. Like so many little things out here, extra effort or mild discomforts often yield high satisfaction.

And, changing into clean underwear is pretty nice. It’s hard to fully appreciate it without notchanging underwear, I suppose.

But I don’t travel to the so-called “backcountry” to have an underwear changing experience. Rather, I journey, more often than not with teenage students, to soak up the visceral learning afforded by simultaneously harsh and beautiful surroundings, physical exertion, and relative simplicity. It is a privilege, I think, to choose to feel cold and have to struggle through fumbling fingers and dripping nose to light a stove while the rain attempts to thwart my best efforts. It’s not “glamping,” but it feels luxurious having the freedom to only deal with the present moment and nothing else. I don’t need to file my taxes, clean the toilet, or register my car. I don’t need to finish a million to-dos on my ever-lengthening list, I don’t even need to fit in a shower. I get to be fully present in whatever moment I’m in.

Out here, I am transformed by challenge—by watching as a flash flood clambers through the spot where our tarps once stood, by long days with scraped legs and salt-stained cheeks, by endless laughter in the face of adversity, because, what else are you going to do? I am transfixed by the slowly creeping light of dawn, the cascade of water over a high desert-varnished spout in red rocks, the bright crimson of a piece of chert. And I am revitalized by the growth I see—in my travel companions and in myself.

It is enough to watch my student learn to trust her feet on the surprisingly grippy slick rock. It is enough to watch another’s awe at the ancient ruins we’ve visited. It’s hearing the stoic certainty in her voice as she says she will definitely come back here, with family or friends, to adventure again in this landscape. It’s when I recognize just how much I am able to trust others—and myself—and take each day as it comes.

How can I maintain some sense of this stability and simplicity as “frontcountry” life swirls around me?

Perhaps it can start with celebrating each day’s clean underwear.

Leave A Reply

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

green roads cbd gummies amazon how many gummies come per bottle in diamond cbd quit smoking cbd gummies on shark tank cbd gummy dosage for pain cbd isolate gummies 25mg chronic pain cbd gummies for pain just cbd gummies sour bears review gummy brand cbd oil is it illegal to order cbd gummies in utah bio essentials cbd gummies heritage cbd gummies 100mg royal cbd gummies 90 mg cbd gummies bottle green ape serenity cbd gummies harvest cbd gummies 300mg vitality cbd gummy bears cbd gummies nicotine cravings keoni cbd gummies quit smoking cbd gummies heart shaped cost of trubliss cbd gummies cbd 20 mg gummy flavored for sale ebay can you take 10mg cbd gummy with benadryl

biotin weight loss pills side effects weight loss pills weight loss pills types absolute keto pills reviews fecal pills weight loss trial weight loss pills for truck drivers weight loss pills while pregnant do jumping jacks help lose belly fat keto diet pills weight loss fat burner top ten diets to lose weight fast total fit keto diet pills shark tank review miley cyrus weight loss pills instagram consumer reports keto pills drastic weight loss any danger in the keto pills to lose weight best weight loss pills for women free trial can you take two diet pills at once how much are keto pills where to buy fat burning pills cutting gnc best fat burner 2022 best workout exercises to lose belly fat keto core pills

blood pressure medication recall list 2022 can you take your blood pressure meds at night getting off blood pressure medicine high blood pressure meds clonidine blood pressure medicine starts with nav do blood pressure meds help with blood clots blood pressure medicine causing hot flashes indian medicine to lower blood pressure light headed after blood pressure medicine blood pressure medication and plasma donation blood pressure medications causing deaths blood pressure medications iv blood pressure medication metformin side deffects blood pressure medications cause dry eyes niph blood pressure medication high blood pressure medicine clorizadone beta si to sterol and blood pressure medication blood pressure medicine that cause bloody nose tumeric and high blood pressure meds blood pressure medication to protect kidneys bayer high blood pressure pills weightloss pills caffeine high blood pressure

blood sugar medication log youtube diabetes meds review home remedies for high blood pressure and sugar ace guidelines for diabetes medication diabetes medicine and bladder cancer diabetes medications causing flu symptoms iron medicine good for diabetes when can i get off type 2 diabetes medication ayurvedic for diabetes medicine how to start antidiabetic drugs which diabetes medication has sulfa common diabetes medications h meds for diabetes that start with an l type two diabetes medication cost estimate what is the best medicine for a diabetic medication for weight loss in diabetes cheapest kinds of diabetic medication depression medications diabetes exercise to control diabetes hb a1c effect of diabetes medicines diabetes medications with weight loss diabetes drugs dementia

male enhancement pills dick how to make ecstasy pill last longer too many male enhancement pills enzyte male enhancement herbal pills do male enhancement pills worj most effective over the counter ed pills m smoke shop male enhancement pills mandingo penis enlargement pills semenax male enhancement pills reviews over the counter ed pills reviews honey sex pills sexual enhancement pills shwining ayurvedic sex pills for men bu online erection pills cialis best ed pills prescription popular male enhancement pills images of ed pills sexual enhancement pills otc pills enlarge penis steel cut male enhancement pills how to make your dick bigger as an adult over the counter male sexual enhancement pills