Friday, December 16, 2016

The News from Magruder 12/11-17

As a large part of Oregon found itself blanketed under snow this week, we saw flurries on the coast along with some below average temperatures. Below average on the coast hovers around freezing, so we're in no place to whine, but there is something about a chill from the ocean air that seems to get into the bones a little deeper. We've definitely felt an unusual chilliness this week. You can tell when you spend a little too much time close one of those older windows. These days you will be reminded of the cold even if you manage to get away for a time.
There has been a lot of shuffling in the office recently, and new people are filling new spaces. Because the camp has entered its slow season, December has become the ideal time for us to go through filing cabinets, rearrange, recycle, and relocate folders and files. As we go through our archives deciding what is important to keep around and what will help us declutter our office lives, we are walking through years and years of camp paperwork. We are building forts of filing cabinets, electronics to be recycled, and banker boxes filled with camp financial records. We are doing this in hopes of having tidy, comfortable spaces to do our work. I believe in creating spaces that encourage growth. It's really what camp is for if you think about it. 

Though it's been cold and we've had a few moments of precipitation, the skies have been clearer than normal, especially at night. The full moon rose up over the coastal range on Tuesday night, bright enough to cast a shadow. The beach sand and the foam of the ocean waves by moonlight were beautiful, and the stars glimmered along with the lights from Rockaway Beach and Manzanita. I get a nostalgic feeling walking under a cold, clear night sky. Something about it feels open and rugged. During Christmas time, it's tough not to think about Mary and Joseph traveling to Bethlehem, feeling the cold air of a desert night, looking up at the glimmering stars. 

We are in some rare quiet moments at Camp Magruder. There is time to reflect on cleaning up our spaces, on peace, on the stars over our heads. I have great hope that all this internal work will lead us to better our outward work as this quiet season gives way to another more busy one. This Saturday the Magruder staff will gather for our Christmas party. Jay and some kitchen staffers will put together a Christmas dinner. We'll exchange White Elephant gifts and likely reminisce on 2016 like you do when you reach the close of a year. 

We'll part ways for a little while to be with our families and celebrate the season. Then, we'll come back together and get back to the work of this camp. We'll continue to clean and organize. We'll put together plans for training and new staff. We'll check the reservations and be sure they are in order. We'll put out the welcome sign and wait for the next guest groups to pull and come into the office. Then we will be reminded of what all the quiet reflections and work to put the house in order were for.

But, for now we are still in this time of quiet. This time of anticipation. This time of taking silent walks under the stars as we breath our visible breath into the night sky. These moments to think about the baby to be born. Moments to remember what we've seen this year. Moments to remember our guests, our seasonal staffers, campers. Moments to wonder how they are faring these days. We will hold them in our hearts like Mary, as she did in the stable, that space that she and Joseph moved into and created to make into something transformative. We will hope in our quiet time that the experiences to come at this place will also transform the world. We hope will come to us rugged and open like the night sky, and we will walk out into it amazed.

Merry Christmas and Happy New Year from the Magruder staff. We'll be back with more posts in the new year. 


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