I'm writing this from "the woods" of West Virginia, somewhere near Harpers Ferry/Charlestown; For Love of Children Outdoor Education Center, to be exact. The internet is slow and I have no cell reception so to those who may be reading whom I haven't contacted in ages: I'm sorry! I love you all dearly and will be in contact asap! (really, I will!)
Friends, Family, whoever is reading,
I LOVE IT HERE! I love the forest. I love the work. I love the air. I love the trails. I love the mountains and hills. I love my team. I love how God speaks little tid-bits here and there that bring me such a zest and fervor for LIFE!
Monday, Wednesday and Friday mornings start out with PT at 6am in the "Miller House", a cold, dirty garage-type building with just enough space for the eleven of us. I'd say 8 out of 11 of us aren't at all happy to be there (and make it quite clear, I might add), but being lean machines comes with the "A" territory, so we push through the gazillion push-ups, throw our fists in the air, shout the word of the day, and amble back up the hill to The Lodge where we inhale gobs of cereal and coffee before starting the work day...
8am we meet our sponsors outside.. and ooo how do I begin to describe them! Picture a 100 lb 50 year old man with missing teeth and A.D.D. accompanied by a younger, sturdier looking version of himself, both complete with hyenna laughs and never-ending UN-PC comments. HOWEVER on their behalf, they love nature, love life, and really do care about people. They seem to think we're a bunch of creepers, which actually has become our team thing. Yeah, we're the Raven 5 Creepers. Team Creep. A couple hours with us and you'd know exactly what I mean. "Every color crayon in the crayola box" is how our Team Leader likes to describe us. Which means there's never an end to the laughs, the random comments, the unnanounced bulldozing (yes, that's right. bulldozing. If you're laying down, you're fair game to be rolled over. and over. and over. by however many people find you.), the spontaneous bursts of energy, and the need to modify the Team Charter. Silence is rare and sacred.
We've done tons of team-builders (good ones, not the silly ice-breaker crap that drives me nuts) since we've been here and have realized some pretty siginificant things, one of which is that we have a lot of work to do in the area of communication.
45 minute hike in at 8am to where we left off on the trail the previous day. Cut, clear, rake, nip and BLAZE trails!! My back aches, my legs are tired, my face is wind-burnt, and I'm in the woods. For me, there is no better job. I love this. I just love this!
We spent last weekend in a massive tree house. I hadn't slept so good since starting Americorps. Something about the air, the birds, the campfire, the open space. I still have this need to feel free. It's not as intense as it was prior to Callin' It Life, but it's still there. Sometimes all it takes now is an incredible long run or a morning sitting alone on a grassy hill, or, as I've now discovered, hiking out to spend a weekend in a tree house a mile from an outlet or running water.
My team loves my granola. So I should probably go make some :)