For 10 wonderful weeks I got to eat, sleep, and smell the things I believe in, that keep me going: community, nature, and personal growth through education and life skills.
The first night back, I busied myself with unpacking--settling back into a space that my partner had reinvented for himself for the last two months. I watched the sun set, then hesitated to turn on the lights... a luxury I hadn't had at my fingertips in weeks. As I waited for Amil to come home from work, I sat outside...and cried. I remembered coming back from my first over-night summer camp experience when I was probably 12. After the week-long camp had ended, my mom picked me up but dropped me off at the house and went back to work. I remember wandering from room to room hearing the echoes of laughter, feeling the warmth of the sun, and the tracing through the winding labyrinths of paths in my mind. Eventually I plopped on the couch and turned on the TV so I wouldn't be so alone-- and I cried.
If I had one word to describe my summer, it would be community. More than in other temporary jobs I have travelled through in the last 4 years, there is a strong sense of community at this little camp in Northwest New Mexico. Although I have met and left hundreds of people in my past jobs, I always had Amil to help me with the transition. He didn't always start at the same time, enabling me to get to know people with my own personality first, but when it came time to leave, we would always get in the car, or board the train toward our next adventure, with memories of our friends in our collective brains, waiting to be brought up again down the road.
Although he knows a lot of the people I worked with this summer, and he came out to visit a couple of times, I feel that I was able to create much stronger bonds this summer, for a variety of reasons. One reason might be that he wasn't with me, and my social attentions were spread farther. Another is that, as my third year with this company, I was able to spend more time getting to know the other people around and filling in the gaps of the little jobs that were left to be done. I really enjoyed this position.
But now that I'm back, I'm bracing myself for a busy fall season, but making time to reflect on the things I've learned and the habits that were reinforced this summer.
I have some great ideas for upcoming blogs, but I wanted to say Hello, and I'm back...so get ready. Also, I'm using a new blog server...we'll see how that goes.
I'll leave you with a little ditty I wrote mid-summer.
When was the last time you sung a song in front of others but along with them, with all the passion you have?
When was the last time you spoke your feelings and 40 people listened?
When was the last time you got so engrossed in a project that hours flew by without your noticing?
When was the last time you hiked up to your bed by moonlight or slept on the ground under a blanket of stars?
When was the last time you laughed so hard it hurts, and learned something about yourself in the same conversation?
When was the last time you had another being in your hands and examined it up close?
When was the last time the beauty of a landscape moved you to tears, or a hug from a friend came at just the right time?
or watched the sun rise and set in the same day?
These pleasures all occurred to me today, and are likely to happen again tomorrow.