When I arrived at the sleep out site, I felt a festive vibe in the air. There were plenty of smiles and people interested in touring the bus. I must admit that I was a bit nervous not knowing what was in store for me.
As I got to know some of the other folks who were taking part in the sleep out, we immediately began to form a sense of community, something was pulling us together. That something of course was the unnerving fear that we were going to be sleeping outdoors, exposed to critters and who knows what else.
As the guests began to leave and the crowd dwindle, we began to settle in for the night. First, we played cards, then we chatted for a little while until someone jokingly said, “light out”!
It was at this time when we all began to look for our cardboard accommodations. Jeanne was kind enough to supply us with plenty of cardboard boxes, so we could arrange our beds for the night. We all rushed to put a stake in the ground to reserve a spot, much like the Oklahoma land rush of 1889!
As the night progressed and our camp became quiet, I started to look for ways to get comfortable in my make-shift cardboard bed. The lack of cool air and the heat was the first thing I noticed. It made me toss and turn to look for a cooler position. I also noticed how certain parts of your body begin to ache due to the pressure your weight exerts on your body. Boy, I missed my bed!
I also felt very vulnerable, not having anything between you and the outside world, anything or anyone could come right up and invade your space! Very unnerving!
I remember tossing and turning all night without really having the deep sleep I needed. The hours rolled by and eventually 6AM rolled around. I was relieved to see some of the others get up and start to clean up their space. I could not believe how tough it is to sleep outdoor without the basic commodities that we take for granted: a bed, sheets, pillows and a sense of security!