Chewonki is a place of change. During the semester we’ve seen an amazing alteration– in ourselves, our community dynamic, and our relationship with the rest of the world. Some changes are not quite so grand and yet still incredibly important. Little things, like the change of the view from our cabin doors are as surprising as any epiphanies we come to on our many walks through the wilderness. Each morning we step out at 6:45 (probably running late for morning gather) and run into a different world than the one we left the night before. And yet, the changes are so gradual, we hardly even notice. Suddenly, the feet upon feet of snow that prevented us from getting to gather on time have melted away.
Herein lies the great paradox that is Chewonki: this is the perfect place to meet and confront the challenge that is change, and yet by the time you notice it, everything is different.
I have been through a big change here. Though change is hard, this is the perfect place to do it.
I’ve found that by effortlessly trying to make change happen, things only get more difficult. This is simply because earth doesn’t change without effort, and neither can we. Though it looks easy and seamless, the change in front of our eyes; each leaf is a purposeful product of work.
We’ve learned so much in science class (which is an amazing class by the way. Shout out to Peter Sniffen!) about succession and species and ecosystems; we learned that in places like bogs, where nutrients are scarce, each organism has adapted to that environmental limitation and functions with the best of the few nutrients it has at hand. It’s a hard life to live in such a difficult environment. At Chewonki, nutrients are not scarce. In fact, the space is so beautiful and the people so passionate, I’d argue that this space offers more nutrients for a high school junior’s growth than any other. It’s easy to “dive” into the people here and the lessons of the earth that Chewonki offers. These people are the salt of the earth, not because of where they are from, but because they have worked to gain the nutrients offered in the air of the Neck.
As flowers spring up and sweeten the air and leaves appear on the trees (finally), I have felt a peace within myself in the slow methodic change from chaos to order: stacking fire wood for next year, early morning bike rides, and cultivating close relationships with friends in my cabin.
Happy spring, Semester 46.