Hold on to the Magic

By Anne Mead

The subtle amber glow of candlelight reflects upon the many faces of thoughtful campers, caught in the final moments of the Wish Boat Ceremony, during their last night at Green River Preserve. As the last evening of Session 3 comes to a close, GRP, in its entirety, is abundant with laughter, love and a beautiful sadness in the realization that this is the end of an era. There are friendships here that have spanned nearly a decade. While the stars twinkle into existence, far above, the light of our own hearts burns brightly with camper’s wish boats as they float across the lake. Time stands as still as the calm waters and for what seems an eternity, we all fall into the embrace of love in a sacred moment. Arms are wrapped around one another, tears trickling down the cheeks of those who you would not expect. Even our strongest campers find themselves taken by the mixed feelings of joy, sadness and a lingering hope that this night will never end. I cannot help but roam the water’s edge, capturing small fragments of time and emotion through a lens connected to my own heart.

We all breathe deep to remember the smell of grass and earthy pine. Our eyes follow the candlelight while our minds see only the wonderful, joyous times spent with each other. The grasp of hands upon shoulders grows tighter as the sky darkens and the Milky Way reaches over the tips of the tree line. Sobs and laughter, alike, echo throughout Green River Preserve. Together, we have grown as one harmonious community. Together, we find happiness in the remembrance of each other’s deep connection with nature and ourselves. Together, we find hope in the fact that we will always hold on to the magic.

Story and Photos by Brandon S. Marshall