It’s hard to imagine that only a few days ago we were shivering while walking from building to building and that we were watching a light snow fall during our morning classes. Today is better than almost any summer day with a cloudless blue sky, hot sun, and birds chirping. Everyone is taking advantage of this unusual March weather to spend the day spread out on the new porch outside the Wallace Center. We all have papers to write, research to do, and species accounts for science class, but no one seems to want to work much on this beautiful day. Most people have changed into more weather-appropriate clothes, such as shorts and sunglasses, and even some sun screen has been applied.
We’ve had a very busy weekend here at Chewonki, one of the fun events being roller skating last night in Topsham, ME. We dressed in bright, crazy clothing to prepare for the “roller disco” and had an early dinner so we could have lots of roller skating time. We arrived in two mini buses and a van, and people were already giving us and our costumes strange looks as we walked inside. Some people got roller blades, but most of us went for the old-fashioned roller skates, and we clumsily made our way to the roller rink. It was packed with people and our large, colorful group stood out in the crowd. We were among young kids who clearly came to Roller World every weekend, teenage couples, and adults. We skated around and around the rink, singing, dancing, and holding hands. There was one scary moment when a little girl had an asthma attack, but Ben, who is a certified EMT, stepped up and coached her through breathing until the ambulance got there. Our group stayed until closing time, and despite our sore feet, we could have stayed longer.
This morning we were joined by Bill McKibben, a well-known environmental activist and author, who started the website 350.org. He sat at my table for our brunch of crêpes, eggs, and a fruit salad, and we talked about wilderness, cross country skiing, and environmental authors. He then gave us a talk on his work, 350, and what we can do to get involved. He showed us pictures of many of the countries that had participated in 350 Day last October and encouraged us to let our schools and friends know about the upcoming day this fall.
It was a very interesting and fun weekend culminating in the most beautiful day we’ve had so far, and we hope that we can spend all future weekends here outside.
-Hannah Perkins, Lincoln, MA