These are wonderful days to be alive at Lakeshore. It is that time in the year when it’s just warm enough and just cool enough. You could wear just about any type of clothing, and, at some point in the day, it will be appropriate. As the day closes, you look through the forest, through the golds and browns of the fall leaves, and that orange sun light creeps through the cracks. Far away, it mixes together and you can’t tell the difference between leaf and pure light. These are the days that make you want to go out and go for a walk. The blue water of Kentucky Lake is so crisp right now. There has been a pretty constant breeze all week, so you see ripples moving all over the surface of the water. When the white birds fly and land in the water, that bright white against that dark blue is a joy to look at.
West Tennessee Camp Bluebird joined us this week, and their theme was a Wild West set up. Greeting you at the bell on top of the hill has a cloth horse with yarn hair. There has a plywood cemetery next to the gazebo walkway. And, there was a fake campfire on the floor of the conference center. The Bluebirds definitely know how to decorate a camp. I really wish I could get them here for a week of Junior High during the summer. Whatever the them is, there is enough decoration to make you feel some type of nostalgia. The Wild West theme reminds me of something Corky brings up periodically when we talk about dream trips. He tells of places where you can sign up to go on a cattle drive (sort of like the movie, City Slickers). You go to the ranch, get outfitted, meet your horse, then ride across the range, driving cattle like they did about 150 years ago. Even for camp people, that would be quite the culture shock, I’d imagine. Think about those freak out moments when you realize you can’t get online, or eat whatever you want, or bathe the way you like. Think about all the spare time just spent on a horses back. There are parts of that that sound a little scary, but parts, to me, that sound like a dream come true. And, can’t you just see Corky with cowboy hat and boots, a lasso beside him and bandanna around his need, yelling out, “Ya! Get on!,” as he spurs his horse up a sandy plateau?
It rained on the Bluebirds as they came set up their decorations, which is never a fun way to set up the decorations you’ve spent months gathering and building. The rain was definitely needed, though. It was the first rain of consequence we’ve had in a long time. One of those good rains that soak the earth and the grass and leaves. One that takes down weak branches and washes things away. It was a rain has stayed with us this week. It was a nice morning, sitting in my office, watching the drops pour down the roof outside my window, with my pumpkin pie scented candle providing ambiance and nice smells. Louis Armstrong was playing in the background. If you’re stuck in an office, typing on a laptop, it’s a great way to have to do it.
Today, as we went outside to go to lunch, you could hear bird a lot of bird noises. We looked out and saw what must have been 100s, maybe even 1,000s of birds in the trees above the Low Ropes course and holes 17 and 18 of our Disc Golf Course. They were squawking and bouncing from branch to branch, almost weighing the trees down, there were so many. Someone said that they must be migrating, passing through. I wanted to go out and sit near them (not directly under them) and watch to see what all these birds are doing. It seems to me to be fascinating to see them hoping from branch to branch, interacting with so many other birds. Now, at the end of the afternoon, I look out with window and don’t see any birds on those trees or hear them anymore. As quickly as they got together here, they were gone.
This week we’ve had two sets of volunteers come out to help us redo our prayer chapel. We had some old friends come up to put the base coat of paint on our walls that will eventually be a forest scene. Another set of old friends came out to begin work on a stain glass window that will someday grace the views of those who come to the chapel for a time of prayer. We are so blessed here, to have all these friends who travel through and give us this beauty that we will admire with eyes and then memory.
This weekend we have the Calvin House Youth and Purchase Area Sexual Assault Center Staff. Thanks for your thoughts and prayers. We hope you enjoy this weather.