After graduating college, my life has been in transit. Literally. I spent the summer traveling between Vermont, New York, and Maine while I moved to the city for a job and visited Manitou as often as possible. I liked the feeling that I could, in fact, be in all the places that were important to me. I felt powerful in a way; I could have it all. As summer turned into fall and my job picked up, my life remains in transit. I’m pretty sure I spend as much time on the MTA as I do at any destination. (But don’t even get me started about the MTA.) Some weekends I stay at my apartment in the city and hang out with my roommate or go find yet another delicious Indian restaurant. Other weekends I am traveling. I just got back from yet another trip back to Vermont. When I’m not visiting my family I’m visiting my college friends, or I try to do both (which is too much, stop it Anna). These weekends I am riding the Ethan Allen Express instead of the 1 train. Traveling had felt powerful in the summer. I was driving. I was in control. As my main mode of transportation shifted from car to train, I lost this feeling of control. I am a passenger, not a driver. I am in transit, but not always in control. This lack of control can be both terrifying and liberating. Transitions are difficult, as I’m sure many of our CIT’s are figuring out, but they’re also necessary. I know that this feeling of constant transit and diminishing feeling of control will make me a fuller person.
As I’ve been in transit, on my morning commute or on the Amtrak to Vermont, I’ve been thinking a lot about connection to place. I have always felt strong connections to places, Manitou of course being an obvious example. My idea of “home” is very strongly rooted to places, Vermont and Manitou specifically. In plays and literature, the setting is a representation of the character’s inner world. Setting shapes character. Places have shaped me. Growing up in Vermont certainly informed my high value of nature and taste for sharp cheddars. But I do not believe that personality is as concrete as environment. I believe that personality is a mod podge of so many influences. Personality is all of the aspects of one’s life coming together. Home, then, as the setting that reflects our personalities, isn’t a place. Home is coming together; it’s community. As we transition into winter, and we miss camp even more, remember that Manitou is home. It’s community. It’s not just Camp Eastwood in Oakland, Maine. Acting Manitou is the community that we all share year round.