A somewhat embarrassing confession
Yesterday, I started packing for camp. I don’t leave for another few weeks and yet, fully aware of that, I started sorting clothing, organizing my trunk, and, despite my current efforts to make it seem like an organizational measure, packing. I was packing. After filling my trunk and one duffel bag with clothes, I forced myself to stop. “You’re not leaving for 3 weeks,” I told myself, “you will still need clothes to wear. Stop packing.”
Listening to my very reasoned and practical advice, I stopped and began to feel a little sheepish about my actions. I mean, this summer will be my 18th year at camp; I know what I need to take (so many more things than are on the official packing list) and I know how long it takes me to pack (about 40 minutes, apparently spread over 3 weeks). Yet as the temperature rose above 70 degrees yesterday, I was compelled to start preparations for my yearly migration.
I have referred to my journey to camp as a migration for quite some time now, usually in jest, but after my arguably impractical decision yesterday, I am becoming more certain that this usage is less of a joke and more of an accurate description. Animals that migrate do so for survival like when birds travel to warmer climates in the winter or for important life events like when salmon leave the ocean for streams to make more salmon. I can argue that my journey to camp provides me with both survival (I cannot survive an entire year inside, I know because I’ve tried) and important life events (though not usually an opportunity to make more salmon).
So, perhaps, my impulse to pack is not the act of an overly excited camp addict, but more like the test flights that migratory birds take before setting out on the big trek . . . I am very excited about getting to camp, though.