Friday, January 20, 2017

The News from Magruder January 15-21

Rainy days returned to Camp Magruder this week, but they also brought warmer temperatures. With any sort of change there is a difficult angle and a silver lining if you look hard enough. This can make changes scary and difficult. It could also make them life giving. The weather here on the coast gives us a taste of perpetual changing. The beach looks different every time you visit. One minute the ground is covered in misty rain. The next it is sunny and bring. Then it is raining mixed with hail.

For now, we are still in the quiet days of the year, before retreat groups, schools, and campers are frequenting. We are deep cleaning, getting the accounts in order, sprucing up some buildings. We are doing the work to change the camp. To update it. To polish it. To mend it's sore or broken pieces. This type of work keeps you in your head, but we will soon be welcoming guests, sharing food and conversation at the table, walking the grounds marveling with everyone else at what a beautiful piece of the world this is.

In the middle of the week, the wind picked up and blew very strong. Throughout the day you could hear it howling and whistling through and around the tight spaces of our buildings. The trees danced very spastically. Water was dashed up against the jetty rocks lining the shore, not by water but wind. On days like these we are often reminded how much we are at the whim of powers much greater than us. I realize in these moments what a blessing it is to be alive, to be witness to this awesome power and continue on this journey of life.

The wind blew most of the night, into the morning. The next day we surveyed the camp grounds for damage. The power had gone out early in the morning, so I had my fingers crossed that a tree may have been down. Fortunately, the trees that were down were relatively small and nowhere near any buildings. On days when the wind is really whipping, I'm honestly amazed that most of the trees manage to stay standing. They are built to bend so they don't break. These tall, solid stems of wood, reaching up into the sky. They dance when the wind is most violent, and it often saves them.

On Friday we welcome two groups: McMinnville Cooperative Ministries, a group full of old friends, and our 2016 Volunteer/Summer Staff Reunion. Maddy and Carlee were the first of our former staffers to show up, and it felt like family coming home. As they walked in, I was in a single moment reminded of all we shared: the laughs, the difficult moments, the hard work, the moments on the lake or the beach I'll remember the rest of my life. Here were all these emotions and memories walking back in the door after a long drive.

This weekend, we are excited to welcome back old friends. We're excited to get out around camp a little bit more. We look forward to reliving memories from last year and discussing how much we've all grown. But in that fellowship, talk about the old times is also talk about the time to come. As we look at who were were before, it will inform who we want to be going forward. We will know a little bit more about what we want to do, how we want to carry ourselves, what we hope to be remembering at this time next year. There are many ways to look at a reunion. It is about the past, but it is also about the future.

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