Chewonki somehow makes the littlest thing, like raking leaves, an experience to remember. An experience that seems like an endless chore at my house turned out to be a very enjoyable task here on a sunny, crisp, perfect fall day. It was Chewonki Day, so all Chewonki staff and students were taking care of many projects all over the neck. Raking leaves outside the art room was the second project I was assigned to. The grass on the hill sloping down to the lower field looked ablaze with all the orange fallen pine needles. It was impossible to turn the grass back to green. I raked and raked but some stubborn needles stayed behind sticking up in the grass. I got into a routine. I would move horizontally across the hill raking everything lower and lower, using gravity to my advantage. Meanwhile, other leaf-rakers were building up their own piles. Time flew by and soon we had enough leaf matter to take to the compost heap. We piled all the leaves into a Chewonki pickup truck, and then jumped in after them.
I wish that ride could have lasted forever. Bopping around buried beneath layers of crackly leaves, looking up at the silhouette of trees against the bright blue sky was the highlight of my day. I closed my eyes and felt the breeze. It had to come to an end though. Slowly getting to our feet we looked down at the huge pile of leaves that were from a previous trip. We kicked the leaves out of the truck, adding to the pile, and preparing for a less padded return ride.
-Addie Bakewell, Carlisle, MA