If you have not spent some of your time this week with the windows open, you have committed crimes against nature. There is no formal punishment for this offense currently in the U.S., but if you are guilty, you should stop reading this post immediately, throw open the doors, crack those windows, and feel that breeze that cannot be recreated no matter how nice your AC unit.
This week, Lakeshore’s Program Committee met for the big annual program planning retreat. This is a marathon of a meeting that began Tuesday morning and ended Wednesday just before lunch. We cover all the major issues involving the camp program from summer camp to retreat season, budgets and costs to curriculum, rules to games. It’s certainly exciting discussing everything that will happen in the course of the next year at Lakeshore, but sitting around a table discussing pretty much anything will wear on a person after 24 hours. The most pleasant parts of the meeting were certainly the times to visit and catch up with each other. Just before lunch, a group of us: Vickie, Paul and Barb Mullikin, Billy Cochran, Amanda Lough, and myself walked the Oxley Trail to take a look at the recent work that’s been completed at the cabin. The floods and heavy winds have done their damage on the Oxley Trail. Trash littered the low spots, huge tops of the trees lay across stretches, and we had to do a little ducking and climbing to make it there.
The water level has dropped a great deal on the shore. It’s nearing that point where you can walk out to the islands near-by. Though it’s dry ground, it’s really not all that dry. Bill Walker, our Development Officer has been walking the shore line early in the morning to look for driftwood he can fashion into crafts–part of his campaign to reclaim and reconnect. Bill finds items most people consider trash and turns them into beautiful decorations. It’s amazing to see such transformations. On the shorelines Bill explores, the ground takes a long time to dry. It has, after all, been underwater for about 6 months. Bill has stepped into patches of mud and sunk almost to his knees in mud. He has become stuck so bad, that he’s lost two pairs of shoes. You set out like any other day, never suspecting to come back barefooted. Then, you take a wrong step and find yourself surrounded by mud. You have to tell those shoes goodbye or you would have to spend the rest of your days standing on a shoreline with the blue heron.
These days if you go out walking, leaves will swirl all around you like large, colorful snowflakes. The breeze tosses the trees around, and the grip on those leaves are not very tight. They fall, catch a breeze and fly horizontally through the sky. You hear the rattle of the branches, you hear the crunch under your feet. You are surrounded. Turn, spin if you want to. You’ll see color floating in all directions. Your eyes will open a little wider, your breaths are a little deeper. These are the days we hope for year-round.
This weekend, we welcome Hilldale UMC Youth, Whitehouse UMC Youth, Beech Bluff/Mt. Pleasand UMC, and Jacob Ross. May we all enjoy this time as well as it deserves. God bless.