I was so scared the outhouse would catch fire. The fire blazed in the middle of the three foot square room, the smoke swirling up and out the top of the open door. A breeze formed where I was crouched in the doorway as the fire pulled air past me and into its belly to fuel its blaze. I stayed low avoiding the the smoke and trying to get as much warmth as possible from the flames. I questioned my judgement in starting a fire in this tiny room. The flames seemed to be reaching out towards the walls like a hungry octopus at a birthday party. My gloves steamed as I held them towards the heat, I had been throwing snow against the walls of the hut to keep it cool and not on fire.
It really did seem like the best option to move my fire into the outhouse. The walls helped me get a lot more heat from the fire. The problem was the snow/ice just in front of the doorway. Not wanting to get the back of my pants wet I had to squat closer to the fire than I would have liked. This led to the roasting of my knees before the rest of me was warmed up then me stepping out into the cold to cool down a little.
It was 2 degrees and probably felt colder with the mild breeze so I would be right back in the hole trying to get warm again. I had to keep up throwing snow against the wooden walls which were dangerously close to the fire. I couldn’t seem to find a middle ground with the snow so close to the narrow doorway. I became very grateful, as I did this dance to hot then cold, for warm houses and I wondered at the strength of people who had been stranded in the freezing wilderness and survived.
Before you assume I am retelling an epic story of me being stranded in the freezing wilderness or marooned on an iceberg in the arctic, I will tell you it was rather less fantastic. I was not stranded and my car was full of fuel 200 ft away. What would lead me to subject myself to something like this? I could give you a pretty long list but the one that had me today was: a vision quest. I went into the mountains to ponder some questions by the warmth of a fire and to seek guidance and direction like my ancestors, the Native Americans. It was very much colder than I was planning on, but the experience was perfect for me.
I learned something about faith and hopefully someday I will be able to express what it was. I have tried putting so many words to the experience and dissecting what I learned but I have only found blanks. Everything happens for a reason and I am going to stop trying to figure things out so much. I have missed out on so many experiences because I was to busy trying to figure them out instead of living them.
I did not burn down the outhouse. I eventually gave up and spent the rest of my time in my car pondering in the warmth.
But behold, all things have been done in the wisdom of him who knoweth all things – 2 Nephi 2:24