“Growing Home”

I spent last weekend in the company of close friends, though truly, they are more like extended family. I was at the 85th Reunion at Eagle’s Nest Camp, and we were all “growing home.”

Inch by Inch, Row by Row

The mountain air was fresh and brisk in the morning, and gave way to a pleasant warmth as the sun rose over the valley. We laughed as we shared memories, both new and old, and engaged in some of our favorite camp traditions: singing, meals, square dance, hiking, campfire, and ceremonies.

I feel lucky to have been a part of this reunion because I have only known of Eagle’s Nest for three years – some have been going for over 50! It seems no matter how long you have known “The Nest,” it becomes a part of your story. Friendships formed at Camp are deeper because of our shared sense of place and our commitment to community and kindness. I can honestly say that I have met some of my closest friends there.

On Saturday morning, I was able to run the big valley loop. While running, I realized a large part of my Eagle’s Nest story took place on the roads around camp.  I passed the gravel road that would make a short loop, the house with the barking dog, the pasture with the horses, and the fields of corn. Because I was never a camper or student, I was always entitled to the roads as my ritual retreat. Here I could be near camp, but also away, in a time and space I created. Some who visited camp this weekend needed to go into the woods and on to the trails that were the site of some of their greatest growth and fondest memory. I needed the gently rolling pavement of Hart, Crabcreek, Old Hendersonville, and Everett. Happily, we all found our way home.

Big Valley Loop

I left camp this weekend with my soul refreshed. The next reunion is in 15 years. Where I will be then is nearly impossible to guess, but for now, I know there will always be a home for me on Hart Road. I cannot think of a better way to welcome the arrival of fall.

A friend and fellow-runner sent this picture to me in response to this post. There is something beautiful about saying “Hart Cascade”
Making new friends at camp is a must. So is wearing facepaint 🙂

chasing unicorns

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