Friday, February 26, 2016

The News From Magruder 2/21-27

We've had yet another week with several beautiful, sunny days out on the coast, and we're liable to start getting spoiled if this climatological behavior continues in the weeks to come. The world continues to wake up, and we'll begin to see more and more guests on a regular basis. Camp Magruder will be waking up in many ways.

The bulbs in the planters in front of the office have birthed little stems from the soil, adding color to our life and reminding us even further of our progress through the seasons. The buttercups came up a few weeks ago. Bleeding Hearts showed up last week. This week we saw beautiful little purple buds in the planters. Angie expects tulips in the next week or so.

The ocean has continued to shape and reshape the beach. The tides have carved away even more sand, creating layers of walls. We have the original wall of about 5-8 feet created over a month ago, but now there is another wall below it of another 5-8 feet. Standing at the south entrance to camp, you'll find yourself a good 10 feet above the surf. These tides have uncovered rounded stones scattered up and down the beach. On one of my afternoon visits to the beach I found piles and piles of driftwood washed up all up and down the beach. The day before there had been almost nothing. Now from the surf line of the last tide in, there were hundreds and hundreds of logs and stumps.

I am curious what the beach will look like in the summer time--what landmarks, what beach mainstays will still be around. What will disappear? What surprises will I encounter the next time I visit the ocean? It is interesting to me that the more I witness these constant changes to the beach, the more I feel like I know the beach. When we see something in many incarnations, we know so much about what it is capable of, we know more about the possibilities. We know more of the ways it will mean something to us.

On Wednesday our Insurance agents visited the camp to do a walk-around, getting specs on the buildings and accessing the replacement values of all of camp's structures. Everything from the biggest lodge to our garages to pavilions to buildings that aren't even currently being used needed to be seen, so if a tree falls through them or flood waters ruin them, our agents will know what it will take to bring them back.

It was meticulous and potentially tedious work that ended up taking us just about the entire work day, but I really enjoyed the time we spent. I was enjoyable to walk the camp and introduce people to all these special places that make up Camp Magruder. Steve explained when each building was originally built, when there were additions or renovations, when there were other additions and renovations. From building to building, I imagined how the camp looked and felt in it's early years, how it grew. All the ceremonies and dedications. All the people who have slept in these cabins, all the stories that have been told. The laughing and crying, the revelations, the memories that rushed back when people returned.

I think about all the people who have passed through this camp over the years, forming memories, the ways those memories leave a mark on the camp and shape it. The ways the camp has shifted, how parts have been added, parts taken away and other parts added in their place. I think about how all of us get a certain window of time in a place like this--we get to be one piece in the story. We will witness a constant change and evolution, and then we will also witness the things that spring up regularly in their season, signaling to us a certain time is near.

We walked through all those buildings, past voices upon voices from the past. We left our voices to mingle with them, to become another chapter in the story. The more we see of this story, the more we become a part of it, the more we will know it. This place is capable of many forms, many incarnations--we only yet know some of them. We look at it, we listen, try to absorb as much of it as
we can, so the picture will be fuller, so we can share that big picture with many people.

Yes, spring is coming. New seeds are birthing new flowers. Bulbs from years past are producing their latest offspring. The ocean brings us gifts daily and takes away as it chooses. Life and great, powerful water are springing up all around us. We should take some time to go out to meet it today. We should take some time to get to know it very well.

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