FDL 2013, a reflection in 6 parts harmony*
This Friday is the Farmhouse Retreat at camp, a weekend to reflect on last year and plan for the next. At least, that is the intention; it is also something of a camp-themed sleepover where we will inevitably end up staying up later than intended, joking around as much as we work and genuinely just enjoying being together again. In the end, we will get a lot of work done and be even more anxious for camp to start.
Thinking about driving up on Friday, I kept thinking about the first time I found my way from Vermont to Fitzwilliam. Making my way over and through the mountains past ski resort after ski resort, I finally crossed over the bridge in Brattleboro and was welcomed to New Hampshire. After my long-held practice of celebrating when I cross from one state to another (regardless of how many times I do it, I still like to think of it as an accomplishment), I started to get a little nervous, partially for my interview with Lady Carrie but more because of my history of getting woefully lost and realizing it way too late.
As I ticked off one direction after another from my printed sheet, the nervousness of getting lost reduced and I become more and more curious. As someone who has driven to a lot of camps, there is always that point where you start to wonder just where in the world this place is. That thought drifted through my mind more than once as I made my way down 119 until East Lake Road appeared. If you’ve never come in to FDL this way, it’s a little like entering through the back door where you are greeted first by the Dining Hall before the Laurel Lake is within view. But even without its central feature, I was immediately impressed by what I saw.
Again, visiting a lot of camps over the years makes it easier to see them in the off-season and realize what they must be like in June. I could see campers pausing before crossing the road for classes and lunch, see them playing tennis next to the Farmhouse and walking up and down the camp road more times than they can count. Driving around the lake (because I tend to get lost, I leave a lot of time when traveling so I was unacceptably early for my interview), my head was flooded with more pictures of swim lessons, sailboats and quiet moments out on the docks at the beginning and end of summer days. So before I toured FDL with Lady Carrie, my first impression had already been set by the journey and what I found at the end.
While last summer lived up to every one of those imagination fuelled images, I have found making the drive now, where memories come back instead of pictures of my own creation, is even better than that first trip out. And I can’t wait to do all of it again.
* this will be a running thread throughout the year. Think of it as an attempt at sharing everything that this summer encompassed.