Saturday, August 27, 2011

A Place for Music

Abbot and I recently got to travel to northern Michigan to retrieve my maker's children from the summer camp they had been attending for 6 weeks. The daughter was a camp counselor, having been a student at this camp two years in her past, and the son was a student at this camp. They lived in the woods of Michigan, in Interlochen to be exact, which is also the name of this world famous camp where students can go to become more proficient at their art. In my maker's children's case, they are string musicians and chose Interlochen Arts Camp to spend their summer leaning more about their violin and cello, and playing in an orchestra.
Abbot and I were tired after sitting in the car for such a long drive from Illinois that we were happy to get out and sit on a bench under the trees, while my maker opened the door to this cabin, our home away from home for a few days.
My maker, Abbot and I roamed the area that made up the camp, exploring all the while. We stopped in a practice hut to plink a few notes on a grand piano. All the practice huts on this road had pianos such as these, all wrapped in foam to protect them from bumps, bruises, and humidity. Abbot and I were not very good pianists, but we enjoyed listening to students that were.
All along this road of practice huts, the dramatic and angelic sounds of the pianos echoed throughout the forest. It was magical and serene listening. Abbot and I just had to stop and soak it all in.
The sounds coming from this stone hut were so soothing (my maker said the student was playing Beethoven) that we could have sat here all day.
There was a beautiful lake that the arts camp rests beside. Some wood had been thrown into this pit for a fire later in the evening. The loons were singing, and the gulls were calling, and music, either choirs, orchestras, bands, or small ensembles filled the gentle breezes with heavenly sound.
We stopped to have our photo taken with Pan, a sculpture dedicated to the arts camp's devotion to music and visual art.
Later in the weekend we were able to go to Traverse City on Lake Michigan. Abbot and I could certainly not balance on this rail without falling into the lake, so some strong hands held us in place. Ouch. I still have a few bruises. But my maker was adamant that we NOT fall into the lake!
Oh, and the weddings that day! We saw at least 3 of them, photographing near the lake just as we were. As we were leaving the lakeshore, we saw this lovely horse drawn carriage. We wanted to sit with the bride and groom, but the horse driver didn't think it was a good idea. She thought we were too sweet for any photos with a bride and groom, so she let us sit with her for a solo shot. The horses names were Cindy and Duke and we pet them for a while until Duke tried to bite Abbot's eyelashes. Abbot, I am afraid, will never go near a horse again.
After a full day of fun in Traverse City, we stopped at Moomers, the very best homemade ice cream in the midwest. Abbot had strawberry and I had, what else, chocolate! We were very careful not to spill on ourselves, just as careful as we were last summer at Ben and Jerry's in Vermont.
It was a fun little trip up to northern Michigan and we ended our final evening at Interlochen with a concert that has been closing the arts camp season since it's first year. Les Preludes was played by the orchestras and bands in one giant ensemble, and after that, the Interlochen Theme. My maker's eyes teared up and I did not know why. She looked at me and said, "Caruthers, this is my last child who will ever attend this camp as a student, and it makes me sad to see him grow up, but it makes me happy too because he is so wonderful and has an amazing life ahead. I am sad because I will never be back here to hear this beautiful music ever again. Usually in life days pass and milestones happen, and it is sad to see them go away forever. But there are always more good things ahead, so we musn't be too sad. Do you understand?" I wasn't sure I did, but I nodded anyway. I have only been in being for just under 2 years and I guess I have a lot to learn. But as sad as this occassion was, I knew my maker would be happy to have her children home again. And I would be too. It had been very quiet around the house without the sounds of their voices and instruments. That's what I miss the most when they're away....sound.
Until next time.