Every room at Shady Creek has a Window

Posted by on May 2, 2017 in Naturalist Blog | 0 comments

By Jake The Snake

Every room at Shady Creek has a Window. When you wake up, whether it be in the Raptor cabins (named after various birds of prey) or the Mountain Cabins (one could reasonably guess what these cabins are named after), or the domes (named after nothing more than their shape.) you are greeted with sunshine in the early a.m, and starlight in the late p.m.

I live in the Raptor Cabins, way up at the top of the hill. Our front lawn serves as a large stretch of grass overlooking the treeline of the Sierra Nevada. You can see hawks, clouds, tree canopies, and the gentle roll of the mountain all from the lawn, and from the window which makes up the top half of the exterior wall of the cabins.

On full moons, the luna shines in through the window, the blankets and furniture and various knick knacks which adorn the cabin get bathed in a pale glow, and the whole of camp seems to be lit up by an ever-luminescent glowbug that seems to be ominously out of sight at all times.
On new moons, only the faint twinkle of constellations comes in. Everything on camp seems to be sleeping. Hopefully, that is the case.
In the morning, the cool mountain air, along with the sunshine of the day, peeks in through the window. Through the glass pane you can hear kiddos coming and going, running and playing, teeth brushing and hair combing.
As evening program winds down, and kids head to bed, as you pace the sidewalks around the cabins, you can hear the sounds of perturbed teenagers desperately trying to shush and calm a cabin full of ten year olds to sleep.

In the kitchen, in the dining hall, and all throughout the gauze pad, the windows are present. Providing a view of the forest and of the camp from almost every angle. No matter where you sit, be it by yourself in the Discovery Den (our go to large, circular sitting room) or the nurse’s office, there is a window either behind you or in front of you. The outside is always inside, no matter which inside you are in.
Even our break room is adorned in windows. At all times you can see the roads which circle the dining hall. As you sit down with your co-workers, one can see mobs of children coming and going. Sometimes in single file lines, sometimes in humming and buzzing hoards, sometimes in scattered plots. (similar to dots on a graph, maybe.)

A window is an opening in a wall, ceiling, or roof which allows in the passage of light.

The windows make nature a constant presence on camp, and thus make camp a constant presence in your life. Even as I sit here and write this in the Earth Room (our go to large, rectangular sitting room), the light from the sun is slipping between a cloud and cascading into the room, warming every bit of face or arm it happens touch. Subsequently, also glaring my laptop and making it a bit hard to write.

More so than that, I think the windows here reflect honesty. Reflect a sense of transparency. There is no true seclusion, everything is open, people are always there. This is not just the physical reality of Shady Creek, but also the emotional one. Just as the windows are always open, and there is always someone or something breathtaking to be seen, the culture we try to craft here is the same. There are always folks here, always experiences here, always things to be done and seen. All one has to do is get out of bed and open the door.

Windows are held in place by frames.

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