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I awoke and beheld a perfectly cloudless sky. The coming dawn had advanced just enough to obscure the stars, yet not enough to replace their brilliance with the majestic purples, oranges and golds of the sunrise.

On the ground, the dew clung to every surface of Toboggan Hill. The faded orange fabric of each pup tent sagged under the weight. Every blade of grass was bedewed with swollen droplets.

Down the foot of the hill, a gentle fog obscured the acres of lawn, the baseball diamond and the tan graveled road that bent around the wood, back to the main camp. On the horizon, the fog lay silent like a grey blanket nestling the green tops of the trees.

I closed my eyes and breathed deeply. Cool and wet. Silent and still.

Everything was still and everything was silent. The birds had not yet awoken to chirp and to twitter. The crickets had retired their songs.

I, who was not yet a man, was old enough then to know that the mantle of youth was threadbare and tattered upon my bony shoulders. Young enough still, to comprehend and appreciate the moment.

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