The Chapel

 By: Chanel Earl

Editor's Note: This is an example of a literary form known as a 'haibun'. Haibun originated in Japan and typically combines prose and haiku.

My two daughters and I travel a narrow path through the dense forest as it curves past a mucky pond of singing frogs and green algae. We are headed to the chapel—my favorite spot, a spot that, unlike most areas at a Boy Scout camp, is still and quiet on a hot summer's morning. The chapel has no walls, ceilings, or doors. It is only a small congregation of worn, concrete benches covered with orange lichen and an ancient A-frame, hardwood structure shading a small platform stage. As the path opens up to the chapel, we leave the trees behind. 

Cool, clear lake water
surrounds the cape on three sides,
grass beneath, sky above.

And although I know this place has hosted pack meetings, Sunday services, parties, lectures, trainings, and more, when we are there it is host to only us. We stand on the benches, sit under the A-frame, look at bugs, and listen to birds. We find what we think is a nest of snake eggs, newly hatched and abandoned. We find goose feathers, hundreds of tiny purple flowers, bobbers hanging from fishing lines that have been left in the trees, and mushrooms. A cicada crawls up my leg. My four-year-old asks for a drink of water. Tiny frogs hop through the grass and we catch them. 

This summer is short,
a brief moment in life that
I will not forget.


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