All by myself
This weekend at camp was great. It was really refreshing and just a pleasure to to be in a special place with people who understood my experience, who understood what camp means because they experienced it too.
As I mentioned in the previous post I really wasn’t gone that long, but it felt like it. Camp time is different, it feels longer and more intense. And it always has. I walked the hills and witnessed a million different stories and memories.
I love to read, biographies, fantasy, science-fiction, history and so much more. In one of my favorite series the author has created a separate world. In one particular place in this world you walk through hills that are supposed to be breathtakingly gorgeous, and at night your dead walk with you.
Yes, the dead walk the hills, but you only encounter those people who have some kind of connection with you. It is not necessarily a scary thing, but there is the usual disconnect between the dead and the living. No matter how much they tell you there are things that you do not understand completely.
At camp it felt a little bit like that. Saturday night in the twilight I walked for a brief time by myself and I could feel my dead walking with me. I have had the misfortune of having buried friends and some of them were at camp, I swear that I could feel them.
But it was really more like the memories of the past poked a hole in the present and I revisited things that I had forgotten. As I sat on the hill and watched the sun disappear behind the mountains I couldn’t help but just let the memories rush across me. And at the same time I wondered what experiences my children will have.
Will it be a place of awe and majesty for them too? Will it be something that they treasure or will it be a burden that they endure to satisfy a parent.
I have trouble davening, it is hard for me to really get into it, to give the kavanah that I want, to have the energy and passion that I know exist within me. But camp is one of those places that I allow myself to open up and there are multiple places of beauty there. When I speak of awe and majesty, it is not hyperbole.
Camp is a place that has an energy that makes it simple to create moments in time. Moments when I step away from the challenges of everyday life and just allow myself to be without worrying about life.
I am a happy person, I have a very good life. But I spend hours feeling like I walk along a path by myself. It has always been this way, I am very comfortable with myself. These moments are the oasis on the path.
OOps, just noticed the time, way too late. Perhaps I’ll return to this later, but probably not. Lailah tov and see you in the A.M.
Jack's Shack November 22, 2004 at 5:33 pm
One of the nice things about my camp being located in California is that we have activities there year round. I am used to being there during the “off season”.
It is still one of my favorite places in the world.
Esther Kustanowitz November 22, 2004 at 5:07 pm
Camp makes me feel the same way. Bittersweet. Thank God, I’ve not buried friends the way you have, but being there during the off-season seems at the same moment super-cool and darkly surreal.