Friday, February 12, 2016

The News from Magruder 2/7-13

Early in the week, we were treated to several glorious, sunny days--the kind that make you hungry for summer time. There are signs the sun is coming back. It is now possible to catch the sunset after 5pm, and there have been several days where we've actually been able to see the sun disappear over the horizon of Pacific Ocean water. Midway through the week, the rain returned and we've seen it each day since. Still, there are moments where the sun reminds us of things to come. Even now, I can see blue skies with puffy white afternoon clouds, following a drizzly gray morning.

The maintenance crew continues to work on improving the Atwood Bathhouse thanks to some generous donations and grant money. I passed by one morning and found Rik and Tommie emerging from their work. They looked like they had been rolled in flour or had received make-up for a play where they were playing older versions of themselves. All week, Rik's hair has been much whiter than normal and his skin tone is pale even by Oregon winter standards. It is funny how certain activities can totally alter our appearance to the point it is obvious where we have been.

A huge piece of driftwood has washed up just down from the cross and the south access road. It is 4-5 feet in diameter, and the wood is smooth and beautiful. A portion of the trunk's root structure is still attached, and it splays out from the rest of the body like a buttress. If the tide is low, it is a great place to find a seat or to climb on as the sun sets. Several days this week, I've spent time there, running my hands over the smooth surface, taking in this fantastic sight of beach, ocean, and sky. 

We saw Fat Tuesday and Ash Wednesday respectively, and the weather seemed to be celebrating right along with us. On Tuesday, we saw sunny skies, and then on Wednesday, rain returned with gray skies, as if the weather got in all its partying on Fat Tuesday and settled into the spirit of Lent on Ash Wednesday by offering a climate more suited to fasting and repentance. 

Yes, we've entered the season of Lent, the 40 days leading up to Easter, where Christians are asked to go with less, to spend time thinking about their weakness and about offering up something to the less fortunate. Scriptures will focus on what Christ was doing toward the end of his ministry, traveling on foot with crowds of people following, healing, teaching, and offering people great hope in a time of great change. 

We live in times of big change now. Our lives are speeding up, our ways of doing things are changing. We are electing new leaders once again. Regardless of who you are or your beliefs, it's tough to deny that the world seems on the edge of some sort of change. As we speed through our busy lives, it's good to have moments where we slow ourselves and take a look at what we are becoming, where we have come from. I was pleased to see Instagram posts from some of last year's camp staffers with the charcoal colored crosses on their foreheads. I think about all the changes going on in their lives right now. I think about all the things I've seen them do already, and what they will do in the future. 

Our 2016 Choir Camp leadership arrived on Thursday, and we began prepping for Methodist Choir members from all over the state and beyond to join us and learn a whole performance in one weekend. It is amazing seeing the transition, being strangers to songs, strangers to the melodies and harmonies, then making them beautiful after several days of being in the same room, singing them. Even the songs we sing leave a mark on us. I'm sure some of these campers who have come for more than 20 years have songs that have stayed with them for years and years. We can be marked in so many ways. 

We hope you're finding time to slow down a bit during this season. Time to get in touch with the world around you. Time to examine your own life and be sure it is moving in the direction you want it to. Time to decide how we will all find our place in this new, changing world. How we will help usher in the new life that is sprouting from the ground as we speak, with each extra minute of sunshine each day. 

Keep all our guests: Boy Scout Troop 611, Choir Camp, and St. Albans Vestry in your prayers this weekend. We hope your Lent is off to a meaningful start. 

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