I looked up the definition of “Indian Summer,” on the Merriam-Webster website, because I never learned exactly when the period is said to occur. According to the dictionary website, an “Indian Summer,” happens toward the end of fall or early in winter. As an interesting side note, the phrase is also used to describe a milestone achievement toward the end of one’s career or life. It’s interesting how an already figurative phrase can become a figurative phrase for something completely different again. Anyway, the purpose of this word search was to determine if I could refer to what we are experiencing now as an Indian Summer. As it turns out that I cannot, unless I’m being really loose with the definition, I am wondering what to call this heat wave that has returned, when it seemed we were in store for relief.
If walking by the now empty pool and recalling the sound of kids playing and loud music doesn’t remind you of the summer we just finished, then maybe the high 90s temperatures with get your memory going. I walk out on a day like today and almost expect there to be a talent show tonight. It is 2:27, as I write this, so there should be a canteen coming up soon. I should probably go up to check in with my counselors, seeing how it’s been, oh, a month and a half since I met with them. But, it’s just the heat that’s still going on, not summer. In fact, as Vickie’s World Wildlife Fund calendar informs me (the month of September has a picture of a parrot on it) the first day of fall was yesterday (the 23rd). The leaves are falling, but the temperature is like me when I wanted to go off the high dive as a child. Once I was at the edge, faced with the fall, I decided I would rather very slowly inch my way back down the ladder.
Right now, we have Middle Tennessee Camp Bluebird (an adult aged camp for cancer survivors) as our guests. There are a fleet of golf carts transporting everyone back and forth from the main conference center to their cabins. They have a casino theme this year, so the conference center is decked out with poker chips, dice, and illustrations of slot machines. It’s like we have our own Tunica here (minus the early bedtimes, lack of alcohol, and no actual gambling). It is a nice feeling to have a group here like this. I truly enjoy walking up the hill and sharing smiles with everyone who passes by you, because you all understand why you are here. The last time this group was here, was in the spring when we had the great rainstorm that flooded so much of Tennessee. They were stranded a day or so longer than originally planned. Martha tells me that some of them had shirts made about the experience that say, “Lord, deliver us from Eva.” There is a chance of rain this weekend, but we aren’t expecting it to be like last spring.
Earlier this week, the Program Committee of our Board came up for two days to do the annual Program Planning Meeting. Here we had the privilege of deciding the next year for Lakeshore. We set the summer schedule for next year and tentatively for 2012. We had to make cuts, but we still took a good bit of time to dream for the future. It is not an easy meeting to do–especially when you consider ours lasted from 10:00am to 10:00pm. Sometimes these things last a little longer than you mean for them to. The next morning, after breakfast, I had a chance to take Amanda Lough, the Program Committee Chair, to I spot I mentioned earlier in our meeting that could someday be a scenic overlook. From this spot, you can see across a nice-sized valley, facing two high ridges that eventually lead to our creek and wilderness camp. It is a peaceful place, where you are sometimes eye-level with birds flying across the valley. I hope to someday have a spot there where people can park their cars and have a picnic or hikers can plan to walk to the point, promising their friend that it is worth it for the view. We all have dreams for what is to come. As we look out over the hills and valleys, the rivers and trees, we hope that we will see at least some of them with our eyes. Until then, maybe we will still take the walk out each day, until we feel that cool fall breeze on our face and know that it has, indeed, come to us, just like we wished.
Be in prayer that all our Bluebirds are comfortable nesting with us this weekend.