We’ve had wind this week. Strong and steady wind. It’s the type of wind that calls you outside. The type of wind that enables you to open up your windows, turn off the heat and air, and let nature have a little more control of your body temperature. I love those days in the office when we cut things off and open the doors and windows. I can deal with the papers flying all over my office (it is my fault for having not filed them yet) and the occasional sudden door slam. There’s a rythmn to it. The wind rises and falls. It’s like you’re rocking right there in your office.
With all this wind, no rain has come along with it. The world is so dry around here. when the wind blows, you can hear the leaves crinkling and rattling together. The beeches have begun to turn brown, and their leaves will stay that way until the spring. The sourwoods have begun to turn their deep red. With this lack of rain, they’ve issued a burn ban throughout the county, which is a shame considering the temperature. It is perfect right now to build a camp fire in the evenings. We ushered in October, one of our busiest months of the year. I have more ropes course groups in October than I do the rest of the fall combined. The familiar face of Men’s Emmaus came in on Thursday. It’s the Men’s walk (the women will be here in a couple of weekends), and if you walk around long enough you’ll hear claps following every introduction and notice there is a strange absense of clocks in the buildings.
The river has dropped a little more this week, and you see shoreline that has been under water for 4-5 months now. It is stripped of any grass, but the grass won’t stay back for long. The docks leave their uniform, level lay and form to the terrain below them. You begin to see all the reasons we make the campers wear shoes during the summer: cinder blocks, driftwood, sometimes something strange like a folding chair, just out there somewhere in the river. But, this is a great place to walk around in the morning to discover all the animals who come for a morning drink. There will be deer prints, raccoon prints, possum prints, types of dogs and cats, birds of all size, and some that you just shrug your shoulders about.
A group from Camden put on an “Amazing Race,” this morning where participants ran, boated, trekked, and ran an obstacle course. This was for all ages, and we had over 50 teams participate. I came down the hill with my dog, Digby, and there were people in under armour everywhere, running back and forth. There were children, teenagers, young adults, older adults, and it was exciting to see so many people out running around doing something good for their bodies. I know that I’m lucky to be in this place where any day of the week I can run down the road, canoe on the river, find my way down a trail, and so many other things. I love it when other people get a chance to see how fantastic it is to be here.
As I prepare for an upcoming class I’m taking, do the office work that needs to be done, and deal with issues like dry forest, I find myself, these weeks, really longing to be out more and more. I want to get the sail boat back out and see what it’s like to really sail with a breeze. I want to go and sleep somewhere deep in the woods. I want to wake up at 4 in the morning, go down to the river, and watch all the animals come down for water. These things call to you, like wind. Slow and gentle, barely noticeable at first, but the then it kicks up strong and it sways the tops of the tallest trees. I hope that I make time to answer, at least a few of these invitations.
These groups picked a fantastic weekend to be with us: Men’s Emmaus, UT Martin AOPi, Ebenezer UMC Mothers and Daughters, The Amazing Race, and Scott Arnold and friends. Hope your weekend is great too. Pray for us, we’ll pray for you.