Every night before I drift off, I experience several things. I feel the carpeted floor firm under my back and hear other sleeping bags rustle beside me. After one last glimpse at the stained glass windows, I sleep. This act of resting up has been one of the few constants these past few days since Camp Wilmot. Cocooning myself in a sleeping bag in the sanctuary now signals bedtime and now feels natural rather than alien.
My hours spent awake have been linked by other things – stories and little surprises that have made me happy. Two days ago, at the Tyler Park Festival, hosted by the Friends of the Tyler Park, I came across hotdogs, a couple who shared their stories and a twig around which I and other Climate Summer riders danced to the beat of the music. Yesterday, I made an impromptu visit to a local community garden, where I unexpectedly encountered chamomile flowers and mint leaves and 80 year old man who recounted his enviable life adventures. Today, I shook the branches of a mulberry tree and was then stained slightly purple by the berries falling down. At a party thrown for us (at Chip’s house), I discovered beehives, badminton, and cheeseburgers. That was a bit of a ramble, but I hope it illustrated all the little things that have made me smile.
It would be easy for me to recount my week as a mishmash of workshops, chores and uncertainties (in what lies ahead both the next day and upcoming weeks). But thinking about what grounds me and cheers me up has made me realize that sleep and those stories and small pleasures have grounded me and made the past few days entirely enjoyable. Amidst an unfamiliar location and setting, I have found constants. Concord and Lowell have been wonderful, and I’m excited for the next week.