Sitting alone underneath a shady White Pine Tree (one of the species we learned on a recent Science field trip) at my Phenology spot, Club Point, my mind starts to wander and reflect upon a question asked in my Literature and Land class.
“What do nature and the land mean to you?”
Originally, when I was assigned a free write on this question, I sat in front of a blank piece of paper for the entirety of study hours. Living in New York City, exposure to land and nature is limited. Although Central Park is a source of nature in Manhattan, it’s polluted with New York’s rushed pace and murky air (which I only realized once I arrived at Chewonki.) The answer to this question was nowhere to be found for me.
Now, looking around, feeling the misty ocean breeze stroke my face and taking in the pleasantness and abnormality of absolute silence, I have found my answer. The land, specifically the Maine Coast and Chewonki, has allowed me to experience a world completely different from the one I have lived for the past sixteen years. In the past fifteen days, I have explored all five points on Chewonki Neck, discovered twenty plant and animal species I had never heard of and harvested most of the vegetables we cook with in the Chewonki kitchen. In addition to this, I have made forty-two news friends, started taking five new classes, and have tried so many new activities. If it weren’t for Chewonki and the Maine Coast, none of this would have been possible.
Nothing in the world could compare to friends, experiences, skills, and memories I have made here on Chewonki Neck.
So Chewonki, the Maine Coast, and the land, I owe it all to you.
-Caleigh, The Nightingale-Bamford School, NY