It is strange to me how even the weather seems to understand that summer camp ended. We didn’t exactly wake up to frost on the ground this week, but it was noticeably cooler in our first week of what we call, “retreat season.” The summer staff has left for college, and the quiet you would expect this far from the city is settling back into our lives. Each morning this past week, you step out your door in the morning to cool air and a slight breeze. These types of mornings make you a bit hopeful that we may pull out of these ridiculous summer temperatures in the foreseeable future. The outdoors is a much more inviting place, and you find yourself wanting to be outside a little more than you did last week when you felt like you’d need an oxygen tank just to sit outside in the shade. Yes, these are the mornings you long for in the heat of July. The temperatures climb higher as the day goes on, but you can hold onto hope that something quite pleasant is getting closer.
Early in the week, we had a visit from Union University’s Women’s Volleyball Team. A couple of our Summer Staffers, Tiffany Dowdy and Allison Doyle, stayed around to help lead this group in Team Building and our Climbing Tower. Tiffany commented on how much taller everyone was than she. I guess, especially after an entire summer of work with people younger than you, it’s quite a change to send college athletes up the Climbing Tower. You’re used to holding that 90 pound junior high camper on the belay line with ease. The can jump and swing around, and you hardly move at all. Then a week later, you brace yourself for someone your age who may weigh more than you. You are holding them up now, and that first time you catch them, you realize things are a bit different.
We have reached this time in the year again–a time of transition. Things are beginning to shift once more for us. Our college staff are finding themselves in a completely different world. The Lakeshore permanent staff is realizing that a 9-5 work day occasionally will happen now. We are deciding all over again what to do with spare time. Over the last weekend, we missed out on the storms that had been forecasted, but strong breezes blew through. Something changed in the air, and the colors looks sharper. The blues were bluer in the sky and river. The air felt fresher and not quite so humid. We went out in the evenings and were surprised by the air and the full moon. We longed to sit by the lake, see the moon beam across it, and listen to the water lap up against the steps of the waterfront. As the changes sneak in on us faster than we sometimes realize, we will hold onto some things from the summer of our choosing. But, we will smile to ourselves and breathe deep in thanks for some of the new.
Keep all those who have new transitions to make in your prayers.