Dolly (Dolly Mama) Herron
The dictionary defines the word “celebrate” in this way: “To observe (a day or event) with ceremonies of respect, festivity, or rejoicing.” In life we celebrate birthdays, holidays, weddings, the freedom of our country…the list goes on and on. These celebrations typically hold a special place in our hearts, and on our calendars.
It is no different here at camp. There may be no better place on earth to mark the transition to being one year older. The entire camp celebrates your birth with the fervor and enthusiasm for which Rockbrook girls are known. There are banners, cakes, and singing. You are queen for the day. On the Fourth of July, campers wake up to horses galloping up the line and riders shouting, “The British are coming!” Red, white, and blue are the colors of the day, and that is abundantly clear in the creative attire of the entire camp. When the sun goes down, the music comes on and fireworks rain down on the mountain. Girls of all ages dance and weave intricate designs in the air with neon glow-sticks. It is hard to tell what is more beautiful: the fireworks, or the pure and utter joy of the dancing.
The momentous occasions that are celebrated in life are certainly celebrated here, but what makes our time at camp extraordinary is the celebration of the ordinary. Away from the often harried and hurried demands of school and “real life,” we are able to slow down and live in the moment. We begin to notice the little things that make life interesting and beautiful. And we stop. And we celebrate them.
Maybe it is an inchworm that made it safely down the thin thread that it spun, from the top of the tree to the green grass below. Some days it is the muffin break and sinking our teeth into the newest, most delicious flavor yet. The constant sound of water rushing down the mountain is reason to be grateful, especially when it sings a lullaby at bedtime. The slant of light in the early evening blankets the camp in gold. And we celebrate.
One day was spontaneously proclaimed “flower day.” As each hour ticked by, more and more people adorned themselves with flowers. We were head-to-toe bouquets of color. Why? To celebrate flowers.
One camper decided that chocolate chip cookies deserved a place in the limelight. She came to breakfast in her cookie costume, and she wore it proudly.
At dinner one evening, it become apparent that banana pudding would be served for dessert. People started singing, chanting, and pontificating the glories of banana pudding.
Countless times a day, one friend will see another, throw her arms around that friend, and love her out loud. It’s not because they haven’t seen each other for a long time. It isn’t because the friend did something extraordinary. It is simply friendship, and that is worth celebrating.
The funny thing about gratitude is that it multiplies exponentially when you acknowledge it. The more you honor the many gifts that are offered up to you daily, the more you have to honor.