Brilliant colors came to full maturity this week at Lakeshore. You can look out your window and see green, orange, brown, yellow, and red painting the forest from the tops of our hills. This is the time of year that you love to go out for a drive, especially through those stretches of roads where lines of trees have been strategically planted in rows. The branches stretch overhead and drop their leaves on you like a ticker-tape parade, home from the war that is finally over.
The temperatures continue to fluctuate all over the thermometer, tricking you into thinking of one thing, then turning over again when you get comfortable. You might have already put your shorts into storage, oh oh, but wait, we’re going to get up to 80 degrees today. No, no, there’s just a high of 57 today–get that long sleeve pullover fleece back out.
West Tennessee Camp Bluebird came for their fall visit, and this year their theme was an old fashion Christmas. So, my holidays were about mixed up as they are if you walk into a Wal-Mart this time of year. On one hand, I know that Halloween is just days away, but every time I walk up to the Conference Center, I see colored lights decorating the gazebo and walkway, blow-up Santas, and snow flakes. It’s as if I’ve been warped into some kind of holiday world where they all co-exist at the same time. Before you know it, I’m going to be having lunch with a bunny on one side of me and a groundhog on the other.
This time of year, though, is really a marathon of holidays, and I guess it makes sense. It begins to get cooler, the nights get shorter, and we don’t really know what to do with ourselves for a little while. You bundle up, you seek shelter in your home, but after a while you don’t know what to do with yourself. By January and February you’ll be used to this, but you miss light–you miss people. There’s all the food that’s just been put back, there’s less work to do (for some of us)–why shouldn’t we get together? Let’s celebrate the scary little mysteries in our lives, let’s celebrate the blessings that have come to us, let’s celebrate the light that we know will return to our world.
Dian received a call about the middle of the week asking us if we were missing a canoe. There hadn’t been one missing from the beach that we knew of. But, this man said that he thought he had one of Lakeshore’s canoes. What’s more, he found it in Springville bottoms, nearly 40 minutes from camp. This is a canoe that we lost 2 years ago in the big flood of 2010. The canoes were tied down, but one escaped under so much water and floated out of our lives, we though, forever. As time went on, we have come upon picnic tables and other canoes that drifted into the small inlets of the river and rested there, but we assumed they had all been claimed by other people. Then, a guy out walking in the bottoms far away, where water has receded for the winter, stumbles upon a boat with our name on it. And, now it’s coming home.
This weekend he are hosting Covenant UMC youth and Jackson First UMC confirmation. May we all enjoy the colors that are surrounding us during this time.