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  • This morning, finally, there is a slight breeze. It is delightful - the air is no longer stifling and the sky has returned to a blazing blue. I decided to begin this Monday walking from my office off campus to the main schoolhouse, paying close attention to the ways in which today feels so different than a month ago, when school was still in session.

    Cicadas whir in the tall canopy of pin oaks lining the sidewalk.

    The staccato beat of a sprinkler ticks in the lawn off to my right – click, click, click, click, brrrrrrrrrr. Repeating...

    Getting louder, I hear the distinctively old-timey, tinney sound of “God Bless America” being played on a tape recorder. (Could that be true? A tape recorder? Yes, indeed! I chuckle...) As I get closer I watch the group of fidgety children shifting back and forth, back and forth, hands twirling, arms swaying or scratching mosquito bites, their mouths trying to articulate fragments of lyrics, a squirming mass of bodies gathered ‘round the flag pole.

    Backpacks and water bottles appear as having been dropped from the sky - brightly colored debris strewn in the grass, just a few neatly leaning up against trees (belonging to girls, no doubt...) The bold, graphic circles of target boards are lined up like soldiers beyond the trees, ready for the enthusiastic young archers who will soon be firing away.

    My own pace slows – I’ve had the sudden and wonderful realization that there really is no rush today. It is finally July, the time to finally turn everything down a notch, to watch and mirror the children who glide through these days so easily now. They transition so much quicker and more gracefully they we do as adults. They flow - right through the heat waves, in and out of the scorching sunlight, the scents of dry grass, chlorine and lake water in their hair. Neither walking nor running, they seem to scamper and flit, like squirrels and butterflies, from one activity to the next.

    Sideways glances and shy smiles are cast in my direction as I approach the gaggle. A few of the most extroverted girls whisper "Hi Mrs. Grant, hi!" excitedly waving. I spot my own son who, quite contrarily, is oblivious to my presence. Sleepy eyed and dozy after a long holiday weekend, it is a wonder he is standing upright at all...

    The tape player clicks off, there is a second of hushed silence - a slight rustling of dry leaves, cicada hum and birdsong - and then it begins -

    "Goooooood morning campers!"
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