One of the treasures of Family Camp vacations for me is the moments of Quiet. Though much of camp is filled with fun and laughter, games and activities, it is also set in over a thousand acres of Northern Minnesota lake country. YMCA Camp Olson is on the shore of Little Boy Lake, and has its own small chain of lakes contained within its property, surrounded by private trails and wilderness.
I and my husband are both creatures who need some solitude every so often. (His friends couldn’t believe he ever got married, being such a ‘lone wolf’, but that’s a different post!) Between my occupation which deals with people all the time, and my busy school-age daughters, however, my alone time is usually limited to travelling for meetings (where, truth to tell, I get a bit lonely, since I want to share new sights with my family).
So the moments I can sneak away in the North Woods replenish my soul. Can you hear Quiet? It certainly takes Quiet to hear the wind softly rustling the leaves, the tiny water sounds, the occasional scold of a squirrel or rustle of who-knows-what in the underbrush, even to hear the loon’s wail (at least my daughters kept missing the loons’ call at first, given their chattering!).
I might be knitting, I might be hiking or canoeing, but the Quiet permeates my whole self until my pulse slows, my breathing deepens, my thoughts become Quieter as well.
This picture is from last year at camp, when every morning, I woke up an hour or more before my family, so would usually take my knitting and sit by the lake various places. (One morning, however, instead of knitting, I and my father went on a pre-breakfast birding walk with the camp naturalist, as Quietly as possible, and we saw these little guys, baby bluebirds.)
This year, either I was more tired, or camp being a week later in August, and the sun thus coming up not as early, threw me off (or the habit of the girls leaving the curtains closed didn’t cause me to wake up). Though I still woke up before my family, it was no hour early. And both girls had friends along, so the cabin was usually full of giggles and shrieks and shenanigans (once they woke up!).
So I stole my Quiet times in moments here and there, all the more precious. Starting my Ravelympics projects by the lake before camp officially started, as you saw the other day. After everyone had left the dining lodge for morning activities. While waiting for a horseback ride. Going to see the moon on the lake at night (I really wanted to take a kayak out by moonlight, but it probably would have been frowned upon solo, and I had no volunteers to accompany me).
The last day, my husband and I took a canoe out on one of the small lakes, which we had all to ourself at the end of the morning; the sound of our paddles was the only thing that broke the Quiet. (Well, the paddles, and my camera, my husband would tell you! My camera was in Quiet mode, I’m telling you… and you’ll see those pictures soon.) But it was really wonderful, being Quiet together, with no particular place to go or thing to do.
We all need Quiet time.