One of my favorite moments from the semester so far occurred on a snowy afternoon a few weeks ago, when a group of semester students got together to go hammocking on Blueberry Hill. Our wilderness trips and weekly field labs had conditioned us well. We gathered snow pants, wool socks (because as any Chewonki student knows – cotton kills), and of course our hammocks. More students joined us as we prepared for the journey, and our group continued to grow as we marched into the wilderness, laughing and identifying native tree species along the way.
The snow crunched below our feet and we held onto each other as we slipped and tumbled over the icy forest floor. When we reached Blueberry Hill, the sun was shining through the trees and the sky was the most brilliant blue. We scouted the area to find the sturdiest trees and began to set up. In total, we set up five hammocks, each supporting two to three people. The hours seemed to pass like minutes as we talked and laughed about everything from our lives at home to the lambs that would be arriving later on in the spring. Every now and then someone would run over to a new hammock and cuddle up with friends, while others would attempt to flip around and hang from the hammock like monkeys. We sang and smiled and giggled until our cheeks became sore. It is truly incredible how close we’ve become in only a few short weeks.
As the sun began to set we headed back towards campus, picturing the delicious dinner prepared for us that night by Chewonki’s incredible kitchen staff and fellow semester students. The golden light retreated behind the hills and the moon brightened in the sky. As we walked, I couldn’t help thinking about what I would have been doing if I were at home. I likely would be wrapped up in the world of technology, wasting my time on my phone, or spending my whole day in one room trying to complete a homework assignment. Most of all, I would be looking outside, letting the cold stop me, completely unaware of the incredible moments I would be missing out on.
Clara, Millbrook School, Bronx, NY