Our counselors tell us to go to bed, so Leah, Monica, Eva and I have to return to our room. Monica wants to go to bed and keeps telling us to shut up. We try to talk quietly until she falls asleep. Eva and I tell Leah about my first year when we went on an overnight campout in tents and I stepped in a huge pile of dog shit and didn’t know it and they made me throw my shoes outside.
After we all stop laughing, Leah says, “So hey, where do albinos come from?”
Early that winter, I went on my first overnight Girl Scout camping trip. My mom was working more at the newspaper, so for once, she wasn’t one of the troop leaders. We arrived at a big cabin called Hammond House. The walls were the color of wood and little cots lined the walls. The cabin was a long rectangle. One of the girls had recently learned the “Light as a Feather” game and we played it incessantly. One girl would lie in the middle and we would all surround her, purring two fingers from each hand under her. The person at the head gave a fake eulogy and then we all intoned, “Dead as a doornail, stiff as a board, light as a feather” over and over slowly lifting the scout in the middle up off the floor and up, up, over our heads. There were a lot of us, girls and girls and girls lifting, and it felt magic. We even did it on our troop leaders. I only got to be in the middle once.
Alluding to Field of Dreams there, if that wasn’t already obvious.
I actually meant to write this post before my trip to Hawaii, but didn’t have enough time, and this post definitely would have been more timely if I had.
So, maybe because I’m a writer, I believe in the power of written words, but not necessarily in the typical way, like that people can read something and be affected by it. Yeah, that’s a huge thing, but I also think there’s a much more invisible power, something ethereal and unseen, subtle.
A few winters ago, I lived with my friend Tracy in a house at camp, and I’ve probably written about this winter before, and I’m sure I will write about it a million more times because I was so freakin’ happy that winter.
The house at camp where I lived (called The Dispensary because in the summer, the medical staff lived there) looked like a cabin, with wood walls and this real “old” feeling to it, like living there was actually a time warp, in a nice way, back to something ancient, even though we did have modern conveniences there. I also loved the lights, they had a soft glow that on the wood walls just somehow reminded me of something primal. It actually had a feel that brought to mind my grandmother’s house, probably the only other house I’ve loved as much as I love the Dispensary. Something about that house was just like IV nutrition for my soul.