I am headed out to Shaw Nature Reserve. Alone.
Not alone. I'm headed out to Shaw Nature Reserve with a bunch of teachers I don't know to learn about birds. Or something. I am game for whatever because I love Shaw, I love the person who runs Shaw, and it is filled with only happy memories for me.
I've been taking the girl scouts there, with my coleader, for about three centuries, every spring and then later on, also every autumn.
It's a private nature reserve. It's not a state park, it's not a girl scout camp. It is sort of one of my secret places. I mean, people know about Shaw. Down 44 to Gray Summit. But because of the chance connections I have made in my life, it has become a sort of retreat house for me, even when I bring 6-14 girls with me.
I keep being so damned lucky.
And so damned happy.
I sit in houses down at Shaw with my coleader and I spill my story to her when I'm doing ridiculous things. She tells me stories of her classroom. We slowly got to know each other through so many times at girl scout camp and especially at Shaw because, frankly, you don't have to do any WORK at Shaw.
I owe Shaw Nature Reserve a lot. A lot of friendship and happiness.
And teaching girls that they can do things that seem totally outlandish to a group of urban kids. Pick up slimy things out of the wetlands. Go on a hike in the dark. Tag a butterfly.
But today I am headed to Shaw alone. I plan to do nothing but listen to experts talk about birds.
And retreat. Reflect. Recharge. Rest.
So I can get up again and do.