Returning to the Cabin in the Woods

We drove down the long road until it turned to gravel. When we hit the rocks and dust stirred around the van, I knew we were almost there.

The excitement grew as I unloaded and rode down the pathway to my cabin for the week. Camp was about to begin and I would soon meet my new friends.

My wheelchair hit the sidewalk made of boards. I bumped along and went up the ramp. I could turn to the left or the right. Two cabins were connected. One housed the boys and the other housed the girls.

I waited for my parents to catch up and open the door. I heard the sound of other children and parents helping them to settle down for the week. Messages were passed between parents and counselors while the kids said hellos and welcomed each other back.

If our room had a window, we could look out and see the pine trees surrounding us and hear the rush of water in the distance. The lake was just beyond these trees.

I would spend the first week of my summer vacation at camp. This cabin in the woods would be my home again. It would be a place for me to have fun without my brothers and parents. (But I also looked forward to “family day” later in the week when they would come back to visit.)

Camp would be filled with activities designed specifically for children with physical limitations. I had my favorite spots to revisit, the same paths to travel in my wheelchair between the various buildings, and this cabin in the woods where I rested every night.

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At the beginning of February, my mom and I returned to this place from my childhood. We had signed up for the church retreat. The woods offered us a refreshing time away from our familiar surroundings and the normal routine. But it also meant revisiting memories and exploring a place I once knew well.

I wondered how the area had changed and what details I would notice or remember. As soon as we turned on the main road leading us deeper into the woods, many thoughts and images popped in my head. I watched out the windows, hoping to see familiar sights.

Have you ever revisited a place years later? What did you find?

Read the next part of the story here.