In my home away from my “Adirondack home,” I had just finished reading a book “Everything That Remains” by Joshua Millburn and Ryan Nicodemus, young authors who have become known as “The Minimalists.”
While embarking on a 100-city tour across the United States they have appeared on MSNBC along with conducting several interviews regarding their lifestyle changes and the benefits of what they call a “minimalist lifestyle.”
One of the most important questions they ask their readers is, What are you passionate about? They feel we often miss the important conversations by simply asking, What do you do?
Their minimalist lifestyle is also aimed at creating the type of lifestyle that creates time to pursue their passions, and their 100-city tour is aimed at encouraging others to do the same.
Answering that question is easy for me! For me, there has always been a joy and a passion regarding The Adirondacks and a family camp that has been inhabited by five generations.
From the time I can remember, I sensed that same joy and passion in my father as we were jumping in the car to head up for camp from Rochester. I could sense that “something” in his voice or his stories as we began our trek to the mountains.
All of us seemed to feel it and sense it as we filled up the back seat, the car packed with food, suitcases, perhaps golf clubs and a dog.
Then there is that moment, where you leave the highway and the excitement meter goes up a notch as you begin to know that you are approaching the area you know as The Adirondacks.
You can’t smell the pine yet, however, the topography changes and you know that home—that place full of stories and memories of your dad jumping off the Pickle Boat, or sitting on the big rock as he read his “Dear John” letter—will soon be within your reach.
As a child, one of my first memories of course, is when you reach that point where all of a sudden the pines line either side of roads leading you to camp.
The windows are rolled down and perhaps my Mother would sprinkle the deer dust with the hopes that we might see some deer coming into camp to herald our arrival.
If we had left late, however, it was that sudden change in conversation that woke me up from a deep sleep. In the dark, we could see that we were turning into our road that would take us down to a camp I waited through a school year to return to.
Into the driveway we pulled, tired yet still ready to burst with all of the excitement that had been stored up since the previous summer.
Decades later I still feel that sense of passion for my trip back to my Adirondack home. In February, I staked my claim for what weeks I would be here.
June seemed far away, yet May came and before I knew it “my week” was approaching. The end of the school year, life activities, and children’s lives all kept me so busy that as my week approached, I wondered if it made sense for me to leave at such a busy time to travel for six days at camp.
The fatigue of life had set in and I questioned whether this was the time to go.
Fortunately, a momentum that runs through me when the Adirondacks is involved, took over and I packed my car quickly and hit the road. All of a sudden, I knew that the passion within me for this place and ALL it brings to me was SO worth the travel even if it was just for six days.
Typically I feel that extra shot of Adirondack Espresso when I approach Route 365E. This time, however, I felt that excitement kick in when I entered Pennsylvania.
Something that most of us perhaps know, stirred up inside of me. Like a force I was filled with an energy and the passion that I know as my love for this area and for all of the memories of a beloved camp.
I have been fortunate now to have been here for four days. Surely, I would love to be here all summer long or would even be grateful for two weeks in a row. Yet, as I have sat on a porch in the rain, looked out the window early one morning to see a heron standing tall on my dock, had moments to write, read or create, and be in or stare at the water, I am grateful.
Isn’t that what passion is about? A grateful spirit that is so full of a sense of wonder, an appreciation for nature, and all of the stories that one family has shared for what seems like forever.
If the authors of “Everything That Remains” asked me, What are you passionate about?, my answer would be quick and clear.
I am passionate about The Adirondacks and a little camp that has brought joyful memories to a family from generation to generation.
Ann Mulford Kent of Yellow Springs, OH is a fifth generation, seasonal Adirondacker who enjoys vacationing on Fourth Lake whenever she gets the chance. During her stays she is inspired to write down a few of her notable experiences.