We file into the benches in the grove next to the cabin. It is twilight, the sky streaked with pink and orange and purple. A campfire has been built in the pit next to the lake, and counselors are standing around it, some holding guitars. I grin at Emma, who has taken a seat next to her girlfriend Jessie. The counselors hand out songbooks and we take out flashlights. The pine trees are silhouetted against the sky and the lake, broken only by the sparks rising from the campfire. There is a canoe on the lake with two people in it, their outline visible through the trees. We begin to sing: everything from Elvis to John Denver to Ed Sheeran to original songs by the counselors. One song has the line "I belong with you, you belong with me, you're my sweetheart," and Jessie and Emma gaze at each other. We sing Can't Help Falling In Love, during which the people in the canoe kiss ("Gross!" someone whispers). Every few songs, a counselor steps up and leads us in a goofy song about alligators or bananas or moose. We are laughing, singing, loving, living, as if nothing exists but us, in the flickering light of the campfire.
An excerpt from my unfinished autobiography, inspired by a night at my summer camp.