I'm surprisingly tired tonight, and I'm babysitting so I can't sleep and can't do much of anything else either, and it seems like I've been jumping from one topic to another in my mind. Being bored. Being upset about Marcus. Being upset with Marcus. Missing David. Missing R-MA. And now, missing Camp. So much. I miss the greenness and the water. The tall trees standing so close together, and the dusty gravel on cabin row, and the cool stream running straight through the middle of Camp, always ready and waiting to cool feet, to rinse caving clothes, to facilitate a swimming lesson, to host an Alkulana Challenge, to act as a meditation garden for a midnight swim. And the sound of the creek is omnipresent, and the green of the trees is everywhere. At lunch in the dining hall, you can look up at the ceiling and see the sunlight reflected off of the creek below. And the water is so clear that you can stand on the bridge and look down and watch the fish swimming over the rocks, and the crayfish moving cautiously through the pebbles. I miss the blackberries that grow in the patches of sunlight that fall onto the path back toward little lodge, and I miss the rope swings and the bullfrogs calling and the canoe trips more than I can say. I love sleeping every night with nothing more than a screen between me and the night air, with the moon shining down onto my face, and the water music floating up the hillside, and the night breeze blowing through the trees above the roof, and the sweet sounds of children sleeping a few feet away. I miss the slamming of screen doors, and I miss pulling on muddy jeans and tennis shoes for caving, and I miss rushing to get the kids ready for their next adventure. I miss the bats in the night sky, and the sun setting over Jenny's little garden. I miss the rocking chair on Beth's porch, and I miss being able to walk down to the water with a bathing suit and a floatable bar of Ivory soap and just take a bath, if the showers were full. I miss morning and evening staff meetings--I miss working with such wonderful people, and planning such great things for the kids. I miss paddling a canoe and singing Disney songs with Ryan at Lake Moomaw, and I miss swimming in the lake. I miss swimming in any lake--now Ouachita.
This past summer was so hot that the water in that lake felt like a bath, so we'd take deep breaths and drop down as deep as we could stand, just savoring the only taste of coolness we'd be able to find for hours. I miss the nights we stayed up for hours and hours playing Texas Hold'em, whether in the cabin or at a concrete picnic table by the water. I miss lying in my hammock in the hot summer shade. I miss the night I spent on the air mattress next to Chloe, and us next to Lenny and Larry and Ryan and Zyrone and Zorrell and Kim and Meghan, all sleeping quietly but me. Once I gave up on the idea of sleep it was beautiful to just lie back and listen to the thunder from across the lake, and watch the lightning flash. It was the only dawn I've ever watched all the way through. I've said before that dawns are not like sunsets, and it's true. We all know sunsets, I hope, but dawn seems so much slower. The moon sets, and midnight's bright stars begin to go out, one by one. Soon the darkness seems less complete. The tree shapes blur, then sharpen against the sky, and color slowly seeps back into the world. Then you blink, and realize that the sky is bluer, and that the East is lightening slowly. Once this happens, regardless of whether the sun has actually risen above the horizon, it's soon bright enough to be called day. On that morning, Pup came out and looked over his field of sleeping grandchildren with pride and satisfaction, and took a picture with a disposable camera. I heard the click and crank of the plastic. I love that man.
And after I got up, I walked down to the water for a goodbye swim, and a high, complete rainbow arced over the lake, delicate and perfect.
I miss the green and blue and brightness of it all. I miss the warmth and the wetness. I am ready for summertime.