Wilderness trips were our first chance to really be away from Chewonki since we got here. I had been having trouble really settling in; trouble feeling like I was home. I would wake up every morning expecting to be home, then realize where I was, and then go about my day. Wilderness trips were the exception to this though. Everyday we’d wake up would be different than the previous day: we’d wake up somewhere, go about doing things in a different way, set off at a different time after eating a different meal. While exciting, this sense of irregularity can be taxing. I used to thrive on this, trying to make my life chaotic and fluctuating. But as I get older, I realize that there is a pleasantness in consistency. I was robbed of this pleasantness while on my trip.
What made that particularly tough was that when I left Chewonki that Monday morning, I didn’t feel like I was leaving home. I was still waking up expecting to be in my room back at home. Getting back to Chewonki on Friday was a nice feeling, being able to do my laundry, get rid of my perpetual stinkiness (a combination of salt water, sweat, and a borrowed sleeping bag from pack-out) that had been following me around during the trip, and just put my feet up and listen to music. That afternoon and was nice and relaxing, as was the evening the followed. But what happened next surprised me.
I woke up, and I was home. I was in my cabin, with Kevin’s head a shelf’s width away from my feet, and Jack across the room snoring. I had fallen asleep expecting to be here when I woke up, and I was not surprised to be there.
They say that you don’t know what you have till it’s gone. I hadn’t felt that I had a home in Chewonki until I had been deprived of it. That Friday afternoon, in the perpetually growing rain, I had come home without knowing it.
-Scott Kulicke, Narberth, PA