Camp Out Here

Dear mom, dad, family, friends,
I’m writing to you from camp in the Appalachian mountains,
which is a sort of fancier way to say y’all’s backyard.
The counselors are great!
One ran through camp this morning buck naked, only wearing antlers.
Ran off more scared than hell. And the black bear cabin’s door broke loose,
because I’ve seen them hightailing all over. Skittish as squirrels
and black as night and round as all get out.
Which is what they always say to us to do.

Eggs and I are like a balanced breakfast.
We get along almost any time of day.
Though neither of us are too fond of bees.
But they sure enjoy a plate of over easies.
Drives her crazy. She tries to eat them.

Mom, dad, family, friends,
you’ll be happy to know the woods are full with good influences.
In fact every single one of my fellow campers puts all their toys away
when they’re done using them. I haven’t seen a thing get left behind.
We all have our backpacks and everyone of us has at least
one clump of pages or maybe even a whole book. We read.
Mile by mile. Words that define our day and set our pace
and lead us to good water and never to obey. Just play.
Take a chance. Like a dance. A single song. Won’t last long.
Water’s dry. Turn around. One foot in front of the other over dry ground.
Magic. We discovered a spell. Some element of walking mixed with carrying
mixed with sweat and dehydrated noodles and dingy water
and a bunch of other stuff too, moves you.
Across the earth. We are all exploring
the most experiential form
of moving one’s self
place to place.

Not the quickest. Or safest. Or best.
But the form of travel that produces the most experience.
Mom. Dad. Family. Dear Friends.
Thank you so much for helping
send Eggs and I to camp Out Here.
I really hope we get to come back next year.

Love,
Jeremiah and the Dirty Dozen

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