Closing the Noyes Camp is becoming an annual ritual for me. I like having a few extra days on the property after most people have trickled back to their other lives. I love the solitude of tracing light-dappled paths through the forest for the last time (this year), sleeping alone in tent city, meandering down to Job’s Pond to bid farewell to the blue heron, the family of ducks, and the swarm of lily pads that, by August, have fairly swallowed the west end of the pond. Scattering dryer sheets to keep the mice at bay in the attic archives and heave-hoeing the massive blue tarp onto the freshly-polished Pavalon floor are meaning-filled closures of my favorite summer haunts. Of course, leaving this year is made easier by the knowledge that we set the fall board meeting at camp, and I’ve already booked my plane ticket for the end of September.
Coming out of the woods is hard! Although I do feel lucky to have escaped much of the extreme Texas heat this summer, air conditioned interiors are an adjustment. I find it difficult to be inside and feel claustrophobic, boxed in by walls. I’m grateful to be returning to work at Austin’s Umlauf Sculpture Garden & Museum, another beautiful and art-filled outdoor sacred space, and I even sounded a few notes on my recorder in the garden this week. I’m also looking forward to the start of classes in the next few days at Tapestry Dance Academy, and to my two levels of Duncan dance at the Girls’ School of Austin, starting in September.
How to resume a regular schedule without losing the calm center gained from a few weeks of rhythmic dance practice in the woods? How to re-enter our fast-paced, technologically driven culture and retain a sense of groundedness, of space in the body, of release at the bottom of the exhale? Every fall, it seems, I ask myself these questions. This year, the goal is to stay in the music, to explore fullness of breath—and to get back in my tunic as soon as possible!