Tuesday, July 2, 2013

Taking Off the Mask

Recently, I had the opportunity to spend an evening at girls camp with the girls in my neighborhood.  Girls camp is different from boys camp.  First of all it’s noisier.  Girls are chatty.  Girls sing.  Girls laugh.

Girls have a certain softness about them, even when they’re camping.  Not that they can’t be mean, they definitely can be mean.  Girls can be really nice too, especially at camp, but more than that, they have a certain feminine softness, even when their blue jeans are dirty.

There is something different about girls when they’re camping out, especially on day three or four.  They have been without their cell phones for a few days.  They’ve left the t.v. and internet behind.  Their best friends are probably not with them.   They’re not trying to impress anyone.  They’re not so worried about fitting in.

And then, a wonderful thing happens.  They begin to open their souls to each other.  Just a crack at first.  They become close in a way that they weren’t close before.  They are warmer and they begin to share feelings and thoughts that are personal and sometimes spiritual.
There is a special warmth around a campfire.   The thoughts that are shared in the flickering shadows are meaningful and sweet.  It’s magic.  I’ve tried to understand it. 

I think it’s the masks.  There in the mountains, or the forest, for a few hours they take off their masks, and they show each other who they really are.  They aren’t afraid of looking strange, of sounding weird, or being different.  They can be friends with everyone.  They like themselves.  They like each other.
They can be themselves.

I love it.  I wish we all could gather around a campfire every once in a while.  I wish we could take off our masks and be ourselves much more often. 

I’d like to be friends.

Linda Garner


1 comment:

Carolyn V said...

Love it Linda! And so true. Girl's camp is so much fun.