At Flying Cloud, we open and close each session in the summer with a Friendship Fire. The words spoken in the Roundhouse at last night’s closing Friendship Fire harkened me back to the closing Friendship Fire during my first summer as a camper.
A familiar phrase rang out:
Who speaks for Flying Cloud?
“Flying Cloud is home to me”
“I know I’m home when I smell the wood smoke.”
“I learn to work with my hands and understand what goes into making a community and how I fit into that”
“I learned how lucky I am with the things I have in everyday life”
“When I’m here I know I need my friends, and my friends need me”
“Making a fire is part of the day. I can’t just flip a switch, I have to work to make what I want”
“I feel closer with people here than I do anywhere else. I know everyone and everyone knows me”
“I can be myself here, everyone is so accepting and likes me for who I am”
Transitions often are bittersweet.
As a camper, I remember feeling tired, excited to see my family again, maybe even looked forward to using a gas stove in my kitchen back home. Yet I also felt a deep contentedness with where I was, the things I had learned and the friends I had made in those last three weeks.
Nostalgia settled over me as I listened to the stories from the first half of this summer. Although Flying Cloud has changed in a few ways, it’s clear to me that the goodness I experienced in my first summer as a camper 12 years ago lives on in this space.
This goodness will continue to live and grow in those who will carry Flying Cloud’s lessons with them through their lives.
I can only hope these First Session campers return soon to Flying Cloud and bring the things they’ve learned on their journeys back here with them. Their stories, the richness of their experiences and the mingling of these sentiments in our clearing enrich all of us.
Til next time,