“Why I Sleep Outside”

Kelsey, Elin | from Multimedia Library Collection:

Sleeping brown bear.

Kelsey, Elin. “Why I Sleep Outside.” Springs: The Rachel Carson Center Review, no.2 (December 2022).

I can’t quite remember when I first pulled a camping mat and sleeping bag under my covered back deck and hunkered down for the night. That makeshift arrangement has evolved into a full-size bed, down duvets, and a secure sleeping space. But I do know why I sleep outside. I do it because I am nature: Because I am less than whole when separated from the wind, the rain, the scent of earth, the rising crescendo of geese calling as they migrate through the night. I sleep outside because I am less alive within the sterile confines of monochromatic walls and temperature-controlled interiors, no matter how much I admire and appreciate their aesthetic design and beauty. I sleep outside because I cannot stand to miss even a single morning of spring birdsong, the chill of winter on my nose, or the moment when dusk turns to night. I sleep outside because I like the shock of leaving my cozy bed to hurry to the bathroom across a frozen, moonlit night, and the joy of returning to the warmth of my outdoor nest. (From the article)

This article was originally published in Springs: The Rachel Carson Center Review. The journal is an online publication featuring peer-reviewed articles, creative nonfiction, and artistic contributions that showcase the work of the Rachel Carson Center and its community across the world.

2022 Elin Kelsey

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