We love spring! The camp greens up, the wildflowers start to proliferate, the trees bud out… and the countdown to camp drops to double digits!
I’ll never forget the words of my godfather, Pinky Quarles, who first pointed out to me that the shades of green in our Texas Hill Country are nearly as colorful as the reds and rusts of autumn. So true! Each tree has its distinct way of dressing up for the season.
And the wildflowers have always held my heart. When we first moved to Hunt in 1966, Jon, Juli and I attended the (then very small) Hunt School. Those were the pre-Jeepers years. There were three classrooms for the six grades, and my teacher was Mrs. Holdsworth. The playground was about equivalent to a big dustbin with swings and a merry-go-round, but in the spring all was transformed to a field of wildflowers.
We had no compunction about picking as many as our grubby little hands could envelop. Mrs. Holdsworth would never identify them for us, but sent us to the reference books to figure it out for ourselves. Great technique, by the way; she was always my favorite teacher!
I don’t pick the flowers anymore, but I rejoice over the blooming of each new variety. The mountain laurels are usually the first to venture forth: I smell them before I spy their blue color. Also among the first this spring are the scarlet and white Indian paintbrushes, state flower of Wyoming. They always remind me that Cristi Lee grew up in Wyoming and first came to Heart O’ the Hills from there each summer.
We have also seen a pretty pink-purple flower that I’ve seen many times before but never bothered to investigate. My flower book informs me it’s a Beardtongue. Why would anyone name a perfectly lovely flower such an odd name? But I’ve seen worse names–such as Cow vetch and Showy tick trefoil. Just saying.
A couple of weeks ago in preparation for our Open House, we were talking to some camp families about coming out to help us give tours and talk about The Heart experience. Well, the closer the date came, the more ebullient I became. I finally had to ask myself what had me so wound up, and I realized that I was just so fired up at the prospect of seeing so many campers!
So even after I’ve been around so many decades, the countdown to camp and anticipation of having The Heart come alive again with the laughter, bustle and songs of summer gets me–and all of us here–very excited!
Just 64 days and counting until First Term!
Come on home, girls!