Invitation to Mikell

Walk with me.
Come to see the BEST spots
Now, and in memory.
Climb the steps to Mikell Chapel.
Note especially step number three
Where a sudden taste of nausea (1959)
Heralded knowledge of first pregnancy.

Check the Old Dining Hall ceiling
Where the wisdom of youth still proclaims
“We are the people our parents warned us
to look out for.” And, “Midnight Moon.”

We’ll pick a porch and rock a bit,
Admire the new fishpond and waterfall,
Sit on the bench to contemplate the Cross,
And plan a time to hike that hill.
Follow red-black speckled leaf-strewn paths
To the creek and several bridges.

Look for bird houses scattered through these woods
And names on the wetlands boardwalk.
Kneel there to follow those tiny mites
Skimming across dark water.

Listen to the song of nearby rippling creek
Until happy shouts drown out that sweet sound:
The contrasting cheers of a team-building win enriches nature’s passion,
And reminds us that human saints then and now
Are part of this place
Whether honored by name or unknown

That cloud of witnesses
That surrounds us
With both Complexity and Simplicity.
The mystery of Mikell…

Behind the swimming pool,
Beside a double swing,
There is an arbor with a plaque that reads…
“I oft recall that grace-filled morn
When Joy and Calm once more were born.”
Come swing with me.

Elizabeth Ansley Allen, wife of Bishop Frank Allen, was inspired to write this poem by a three-hour silent walk over the Mikell campus with some sitting…and later conversations, during the 2012 Autumn Mikell Folk School. The arbor, swing, and children’s playground mentioned in Mrs. Allen’s poem were given to Camp Mikell in memory of the Rev. George Sparks by his wife, June and their children.