I’m going to be blatantly honest with you. The semester is winding down and I feel completely unprepared. There are nights where I lie in bed questioning: am I branching out enough? Did I change? Am I getting outside enough? Where is the time going? What has Chewonki given me? My answer came in a rather surprising way.
The other day–I think it was a Tuesday–the sun was shining brightly, allowing me to pretend like it was warm enough for shorts. I remember walking out of art class and realizing that I had field trip. I had from the end of class at 12:30 until 12:45 when the bus would leave. This meant that I had to run back to my cabin, change, and be ready to get some thigh-high wellies so that we could wade waist deep into streams. The important thing was that I had to get back to my cabin. I understand that I am only about a 30 second walk from my cabin, but the thing is it’s a whole 30-second walk. The worst part of it was that Gordy is the farthest cabin away via boardwalk. This means as you’re walking towards your cabin, you are actually circling around it until you are able to walk in a straight line. On top of all this, there is this lovely large expanse of beautifully green and crisp grass that is roped off in order to maintain its health. I understand that it is an important part of being sustainable and friendly to the environment, but it’s so tantalizing.
I decided to duck under the ropes and make a mad dash for my cabin before Carob saw me and told me to get off the grass. As I finally approached my cabin, I realized something. Now, bear with me as I say this, for it is wildly cliché and has probably been said before: I realized that I was wrong. My experience shouldn’t be about getting to the cabin the fastest or trying to finish work program as fast as possible because it is tiring. When my fellow cabin mates and I stay up late worrying about homework, or the AP, or whatever else, we aren’t looking at what is right in front of us. I believe that in order to experience and appreciate my time at Chewonki, as well as my entire life, I need to appreciate the small things. I understand that as I am saying this, it seems extremely cheesy and remarkably unremarkable, but it’s true. What if every step, every day, I just took moments to appreciate life? Life is in fact just a series of moments that continue to pass us by regardless of if we notice them or not. Why not choose to notice them– acknowledge that as each moment passes us by, this is a moment that we will never get back. When I return home from Chewonki, I will take time to sit back, let the sun reflect on my face, the rain pour down, and the snow catch on my eyelashes.