"My own business bores me to death; I prefer other people's" – Oscar Wilde
We will be loyal to you,
You’ve given us a vision of perfect life,
We need it, we want it, for it we’ll strive…”
I’m with my best friends lounging around a crackling campfire, clutching a half drunk bottle of beer with the smile of the sun on my face and skin. The warmth of the summer still sits in our voices, one of us pours beer on the fire and it roars, and we roar with it. As the flames rise, so does our song and so does our laughter. The brightness pours into us so we become brilliant burnt orange and flickers of light dance across the empty beach. The soft waves from the Great Lake ripple rhythmically marking the tempo of our music and the night sways in time to our song. The warm embrace of the breeze tickles sand across our toes and gently rustles through the tallness of the trees. The smells of long grass, burning wood, warm flames and warm beer are tangled and fused together in this moment of tribute to our summer.
“…Oh Miniwanca, striving, serving, telling the world of you,
Miniwanca, Miniwanca, Miniwanca our camp,
We will be loyal to you.”
A cheer erupts through the group, whistling and shouting. I face Caroline whose deck chair I’m sharing, and whose shoulders I have draped my arms around and we laugh and swig from each other’s beer bottles with our arms linked. I lose my balance and fall from her lap onto the sandy carpet, laughing I wipe the spilt drink from my stomach and wring out my top. Shuffling out of my shoes I lie flat on the ground, listening while the group erupts into another camp favourite,
“On the sand dunes of Miniwanca…”
I trace my fingers through the soft grains of sand by my sides and over my head, making a sand angel. The sand sticks to my skin, clinging on and refusing to be brushed off. As I try, I feel the softness of my skin, having been exfoliated everyday by the sand that crept from the beach into the camp, into our cabins, and into our clothes and sleeping bags.
I think of the sleepless nights when we would sneak food from the dining lodge fridges and creep to the beach and dip our toes in the water, we would stencil our names in the sand, and lie and watch the shooting stars. They’re almost over. Here we are clinging onto the last of our summer. I look at my friends, some hidden from my view by the bonfire we circle; everyone is smiling, laughing, singing, and dancing. Dieter has his guitar out and is strumming a soft chord, but it’s no challenge to the shout of the group. As the song dies out, the chatter and laugher gets louder and I am in bliss. It is a playful season, and we have done it proud.