Today we received a letter from a parent wrote about her hopes for her daughter’s summer at Camp Runoia. They hoped she would continue to “get close to nature” as she has during the previous two summers at camp. We find these letters from parents helpful for raising our awareness of campers’ needs and goals and also guiding us toward continual improvement of our staff training, facilities, marketing and product. It sounds so business like but guess what? Maine camps are businesses! They are also people and community oriented and based in country, even wilderness, settings.
As the spring pallet has now arrived in full green and we see flowers, hummingbirds, baby osprey, apple blossoms. We pause at every sunrise and take in every sunset. We notice the phase of the moon, the level of the lake water and weather as it comes and goes. We celebrate the natural world around us and are in awe of so many delights in the woods, fields and lakes of Maine. Might this be reason their daughter felt close to nature? We hope so.
In honor of Maine, its natural beauty and the seasons around us, here is a Longfellow poem to enjoy:
Sunrise on the Hills
I stood upon the hills, when heaven’s wide arch
Was glorious with the sun’s returning march,
And woods were brightened, and soft gales
Went forth to kiss the sun-clad vales.
The clouds were far beneath me; bathed in light,
They gathered midway round the wooded height,
And, in their fading glory, shone
Like hosts in battle overthrown.
As many a pinnacle, with shifting glance.
Through the gray mist thrust up its shattered lance,
And rocking on the cliff was left
The dark pine blasted, bare, and cleft.
The veil of cloud was lifted, and below
Glowed the rich valley, and the river’s flow
Was darkened by the forest’s shade,
Or glistened in the white cascade;
Where upward, in the mellow blush of day,
The noisy bittern wheeled his spiral way.
I heard the distant waters dash,
I saw the current whirl and flash,
And richly, by the blue lake’s silver beach,
The woods were bending with a silent reach.
Then o’er the vale, with gentle swell,
The music of the village bell
Came sweetly to the echo-giving hills;
And the wild horn, whose voice the woodland fills,
Was ringing to the merry shout,
That faint and far the glen sent out,
Where, answering to the sudden shot, thin smoke,
Through thick-leaved branches, from the dingle broke.
If thou art worn and hard beset
With sorrows, that thou wouldst forget,
If thou wouldst read a lesson, that will keep
Thy heart from fainting and thy soul from sleep,
Go to the woods and hills! No tears
Dim the sweet look that Nature wears.