Lakeshore is like a big sleepy bear this week, shaking off the drowsiness from a winter’s sleep. Emerging from the cave, squinting your eyes, because you haven’t seen light in quite some time. The light is returning, if you haven’t noticed. The days are a bit longer, and the nights just a little shorter. As I write this, just after 5:00pm, There is still a little purple, orange light left from the sun, who just got out of town. It’s not much, but it’s a start.
Lakeshore has been resting since early December from the marathons of summer camp and retreat season. There is something nice about the rest of winter. It doesn’t always make for the most exciting days, when it gets dark before you’re out of the office or class or whatever, but you get home, get settled, and snuggle into something warm. People aren’t as hip on getting out to do things when there’s hardly daylight and freezing temps, so we sit inside and reflect more. You’re much more likely to find yourself sitting there just looking thoughtfully towards the ceiling, thinking of something high-minded and deep in January than you are in July.
There was a fog that set in on Thursday morning as the weather continued to play with our emotions. It was a thick fog, and the bare branches reached through it like creepy, dark arms. You felt like you were in a Hawthorne novel, walking through the woods. Towards the middle of the morning, though, the fog settled low to the ground, and there was a line where it ended and blended in with the blue of the sky above. It was a beautiful fade from light gray to dark blue.
Early in this week, we had a large number of former staff visit to help us with some of our annual bulk mailing. Bulk Mail is certainly not the type of activity to be grouped on the excitement scale with mountain biking or hang gliding, but I think these college kids had grown a little restless at the end of their breaks and wanted something that could at least be called an adventure together. So, ten or so came and helped us stuff hundreds of envelopes with brochures and flyers that we hope will be bring a few new people out to camp this spring.
They took a few breaks, walking down to the waterfront, following the muddy shoreline that emerges in the winter when the river level drops. Sarah Sharp lost a pair of sunglasses in the muddy river, Matt Moody found them for her, and she left them laying out near the waterfront. The staff took pictures of themselves crossing muddy creekbeds on fallen branches and artsy pictures of the mold and water and sky all around.
These are those get togethers you love to arrange at this age. You know that you will remember them for the rest of your life. Even though, on paper, it just amounted to stuff mail and getting your shoes muddy, you much more is going on for you to remember. You are leaving the cave and taking your friends with you. You are stretching and opening your eyes to see new light and breath fresh air. You are testing the water, remembering the lessons from warmer times. You can feel life coming back, pumping from your heart to every part of you. Yes, soon the days will go on and on, till we can hardly stand anymore. They sun will hang stay with us. All that time spent in thought and stillness will change to furious activity and the restlessness will be satisfied. It is on it’s way. It will be time to do all that we have been dreaming of and preparing for.