To those of you who are reading our blog for the first time, welcome! To those who are long-time readers, it’s good to have you back. Each year, when I am called to prepare my contribution for September’s issue of The Dirt and its corresponding blog post, it is a tell-tale sign for me that summer is over, and it is time once again to enter the magical and transformational season called ‘fall’.
As many of us know, beyond our personal, unofficial signs of fall’s arrival, there is in fact an official beginning to the season. This year, the autumnal equinox occurs on Friday, September 22nd at precisely 4:02 PM, when the sun crosses the celestial equator. On this day we will have equal parts night and day. From then on, nights will slowly become longer than days, until we arrive at the shortest day of the year, the winter solstice in December. From there we begin the slow lengthening of our days as the cycle through the seasons continues.
With the thought of this cyclical, circular motion in mind, I’d like to share with you a poem I wrote following our last day of camp, just a bit over a month ago. Though the season has begun to turn, the memory of that day is still just as fresh in my mind as if it happened yesterday. It is one that I will hold dear as we enjoy each changing season, until we arrive at glorious summer once again.
Love Is All Aground
On the big field, on the last day of camp,
without fail, we take time for goodbyes.
Holding hands, we form one large circle
that this year held one final surprise.
With all of our campers and counselors
each holding the hands of two others,
no matter how many, how far afield,
we always find room for each other.
Once our living circle has formed,
the center we share gives us reason
to recall all the circles we have in our lives:
the earth, the moon…the seasons.
We may feel a little bit melancholy,
knowing this summer’s camp is now done,
but we take solace in the circle of time:
we’ll be back, under next summer’s sun.
As we stood hand in hand, I became aware,
my eyes tracing our ring, start to start:
though our ‘circle’ may not have been perfect,
it did form one great, perfect HEART.
The tipis that still dominated the field
had sent us a little astray,
enough to dimple our circle of souls
in this wondrously suitable way.
I was called to the middle to share
some meaningful, well chosen words.
I had them scripted, but this surprise heart
had rendered them moot and absurd.
All I really needed to do
was point out the heart we had made,
shaped by our own hearts and hands
though we hadn’t known what was at play.
Love and tears suffused the air,
the oohs, the ahhs were all profound.
We’ve always known our camp is Love —
here the proof stood on the ground.