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So, today is Monday and I did not meet a single child aside
from my siblings. This was a truly odd day. I did not have to answer questions
from confused parents, I did not have to tell campers to stop running, and I
did not have to make counselors put their cell phones away. I did not have to
organize supplies, fill ice chests, or make lemonade. There were no fishhooked
fingers, no bloody noses, and no scraped knees. However, there was a lot of
trash, a lot of dirt, a lot of cobwebs, and a lot of quiet. I enjoyed the quiet
the most.

The quietness that covers camp at the end of the summer is
truly delicious (I never even say that word, but I think it is most correct
right here). I didn’t have very many chances to enjoy it on my own because the
directors and I spent the morning picking up trash around camp, but the moments
when we were simply working in the quiet were very refreshing. The overcast
skies made the quiet even more lovely. There is something I have always enjoyed
about overcast skies. They create a certain bittersweet melancholy that somehow
allows one to ruminate about life without being overwhelmed by sadness.

I thought about a lot of things this morning. Mostly, I
thought about how I was going to pull that plastic bottle out of its protective
cage of thorn bushes, and I thought about how this summer has unfolded.

(I want to take a sidebar to say that this summer really has
“unfolded” and did not “turn out.” The many events that created this summer
have unfolded one piece at a time, usually revealing other bits also waiting to
be unfolded. In no way was this summer turned out all at once.)

I will not discuss any of my thoughts from this morning as
they are mostly disjointed and generally personal. I did not come up with
anything very profound or spiritual, nor did I reach any conclusions of any
sort, but I enjoyed myself. I was picking up trash, and I enjoyed myself. So,
if you ever find yourself with some free time on an overcast morning, find a
wood where you can pick up trash, ruminate, and enjoy yourself. I cannot
guarantee that you will find any long-term personal benefits from such a
venture, but you will at least make a bit of the world more beautiful.