The sound of the tractor rumbles up the hill as I stroll down from my cabin. James has decided that instead of the white van, our limo for space prom will be a trailer attached to a tractor. Classic James. Over the winter, while kitchen manager Gabe and I were in Vietnam, we discussed having a prom at Jawbone. When the season started, the idea quickly gained traction and after a few less-than-stellar ideas, the theme of space prom was settled on. I may be a bit biased, but it’s probably one of the best events of all time. Decked out in our finest space attire, Simon’s celestial playlist propelled our feet on the dance floor, while sci-fi movies projected onto a screen above us providing an atmospheric backdrop. This was space prom.
In many ways, space prom is indicative of what makes the Jawbone community so special. We’re silly, creative, whimsical. We’ve had a murder mystery, talent shows, 90s rap parodies, poker nights, impromptu nighttime mushroom hunts, ghost in the graveyard (aka. the easiest way to sprain an ankle). Events like these add to the magic that is Jawbone. Romanticized as much as any place I can think of, it still remains truly unique, even after having spent almost two years here.
As the season comes to an end, and I consider the prospects of my own future, I’m constantly reminded of the many awe-inspiring, hilarious, and singular experiences I’ve had the fortune to experience here. Walking back from Sacred Rock recently, the sound of Megan’s flute began to fill the valley. I was dog-sitting Mud, Gabe’s dog, and had just walked him up to the secluded cliff. His anxious exuberance erupted into a cacophonous bark as Megan approached. We had a brief conversation before I headed back down. As the notes of her flute cascaded through the air, I was overcome with a sudden wave of melancholy and nostalgia. I only had two months left. This was my home. It really sunk in.
Opal Creek and Jawbone will always hold a special place in my heart. The unrivaled beauty, the lovely people, the intrepid children. I’m reminded of the day I moved to Jawbone. Driving down the gravel road that I’ve now traversed countless times, I was suddenly overcome with a wave of fear. I was tempted to turn around and flee. I didn’t know these people. I’d never spent eight months in the forest. What was I getting myself into? Not turning around was one of the best decisions I’ve ever made. Lately I find myself thinking about the trajectory of my own life as much as I ponder the past, and I’m reminded of space prom. As much as Jawbone is about the past, it’s also about the future.