Lisa Jo sent us the five-minute Friday prompt from the most lovely state that I can think of — Michigan, where the cherries are currently bursting off the trees — and the word is Belong. I learned how to belong and how not to belong there in a summer camp on the shores of Torch Lake.
I had never met mean girls before I was installed there for an eight-week stay when I was ten. After some rockiness in the road my first few days there due to my homesickness, I truly took to the place.
And suddenly writing this, I remember all of the good things:
- the blue of the lake
- the smell of woodsmoke from the fires we learned to build
- the dust and sand on the hard earth of the paths
- the whack of the doors to the cabins as they swung shut on their springs
- the cold of the nights that made my three doubled up blankets necessary
And the mean girls begin to pale in comparison. I was going to write about them when I saw the word Belong and the word Michigan. But they pale suddenly.
I met up, a couple of weeks ago, with a cousin of mine who went to that camp also as well as another camper who I knew, one of the Big Girls, but didn’t know she lived in our same city. We are all having a reunion later in August. I am looking forward to it though working out the travel logistics from Denver to Traverse City are a bit of a puzzle.
I will get to remember again the smell of the birch and pine forest, and sing the old songs again.