Friday, June 1, 2012

"The Campers" by Helen Stevenson

That was when I ran out of things to say. These were merely the moments in between good (or mediocre, as the case may be) gossip. What were the children and the men, those dots on the landscape, up to at the time? Who knows. As I recall, the water was tepid, the apples a bit mealy, and the air still.

This is only a memory, and all washed out from reliving it over and over again in my mind. Like my favorite blue skirt faded from too many cycles in the washer. How many details have I forgotten and reinvented along the way? Were our blouses quite so bubble gum pink? What shade of blue was that skirt to begin with after all?

Camping reminds me of memories, which reminds me of death and the transient nature of existence. I feel like we live our whole lives out of a tent, merely staked out for a day or few, surrounded by much more permanent grandeur. Anything we learn in that scant amount of time perhaps could be passed on to the next set of scouts, were we not in such a hurry to move on.

I wonder if that tree is still there, and if so, how much it has grown. Right out of the picture frame I imagine. But maybe it has died, fallen, and long been removed. Certainly the mountain remains.

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