After Michaella has inspired everybody to wash the dishes, Grace pulls us back in for an evening council, where we talk about plans for cleanup and roles for the next day. You’re so excited because it’s finally your turn to be Matriarch, and try a hand at leading the group! Tomorrow it’s a long paddle to Wingdam Island, and, consulting the twilit clouds in your weather book, you figure that it’ll be a beautiful day. By Eloise Schultz
“Don’t ask what the world needs. Ask what makes you come alive, and go do it. Because what the world needs is people who have come alive” -Howard Thurman
Here’s a picture. You’re sitting at a battered picnic table with a water filter in your hands, pumping along at a steady pace. A fine trickle of water makes its way into the nalgene (or ‘sacred water bottle’ to tripplers) screwed into the base of the pump with each hard push of the lever. A flurry of activity surrounds you; fire crew gathering kindling and splitting firewood, cook crew preparing dinner on a coleman stove. If we’re camped out at Little Falls on the St. Croix river, that’s probably me and Anna and Terra cooking the meal. We’re making Gado Gado, a thick pasta dish which calls for sunbutter, soy sauce, brown sugar, and your most battered vegetables. I’m bending over the fire, an old pair of swim goggles pulled over my face so that my eyes don’t water in the smoke. The frybake I’m holding is splattering happily, loaded with mushrooms, carrots, peppers, and onion. Matea, who’s been fanning the fire furiously with a frybake lid, takes one look at me and bursts out laughing- I guess look a little cross-eyed with these old googles on. Emma looks up from the group journal to see what’s going on, joins in with a smile as she wedges another piece of maple under the cooking grate. “All you need is a cape,” comments Kate wryly. Pretty soon the whole group is laughing and dancing around the picnic table; it’s just a typical night with the Leadership Group, rejoicing over food, sunlight, the rain that’s just passed. Aimee calls out from across the campsite, “Rainbow! Double Rainbow!” Everybody runs to the rocky beach at the base of the rapid to look up at the bright arches that span the sky. The rainclouds from before are breaking up quickly and the sky is a good clean blue. You stand up, and deliver the quotation that’s been passed on to you from another yurt group.