This week the humidity reminded us that we are indeed still in August. Any urges to pull out a long-sleeve T-shirt upon rising to mornings of cool 60 degree sunrises were quickly squashed by noon each day, when going outdoors pretty well guarantees sweating. The leaves are beginning to get crisper. Some are even browning or yellowing. I’m not quite sure if this is their normal march towards Fall or if if is something to do with our lack of rain this month. We’ve received, according to weather.com, 2.47 inches of rain this month, and we are supposed to average 3.37. I’m sure we can get an inch by the end of the month, but it seems more daunting when you’ve gone a whole week without rain. It’s something how long periods of anything can change moral despite probability. If your team has lost the last 10 years, then they probably will this year, even if they just signed the top 3 starting pitchers in the game and traded for the best hitter in the league. If it hasn’t rained in 8 days, it probably won’t rain today. Streaks seem to mean a lot more to us than the idea of something being “due.” It’s not always in the Negative Nancy direction, though. You see the ones who always win, expect winning each year. Which is more annoying is really debatable.
A group of freshmen from Trevecca were staying with us early this week and asked us if we had heard the coyotes the last few nights. They were outside, by the river when they heard a few barks in the distance. The more they listened, the more yips and howls they heard. The more they heard, the more they were freaked out. So, they quickly got back to their cabins. I have heard pretty loud coyote calls on multiple evenings this week. It could be that I was just outside at the right time, but you do start to wonder a bit when each night you go out you hear the same thing. I looked up coyote mating season, and they don’t typically mate until mid-winter, so that theory is out. Maybe it is some kind of festival week for coyotes. Maybe they are having a revival. Maybe the coyote fair has come to town. Maybe it’s like Bonnaroo for coyotes out there in the woods.
There are these times, when you live in the woods, that you will hear the creatures of the forest just get crazy for a short period of time. It might be owls, whippoorwills, turkeys, or the previously mentioned coyote. Without warning, the noises begin, and then they swell. Things get loud, and you wonder how many animals out there are hooting and hollering at that moment. You wonder if the woods are about to erupt and some kind of animal revolution is beginning. Then, as quickly as they began, they settle back down and the only noise you hear is the hum of the crickets. You then wonder to yourself, “what just happened? I can remember being woken by these noises as Wilderness Camp Director. I would worry that my entire camp would be woken up, and then I’d have 27 middle school age campers worried about what was out in the woods. Sometimes if it went on too long, I go out on the back of my porch and yell for them to shut-up. They were usually very respectful of my feelings, and I appreciated them for that.
Dian hurt her foot earlier this week, and was limping around the office. On one particular day, she was talking about it, and Travis overheard. He had her take her shoe off and then did some kind of adjustment on her foot. You could hear that Dian was a bit reluctant at first, but when Travis finished, we all heard her say, “My foot doesn’t hurt anymore. That helped a lot, Travis.” She walked back and forth into just about everyone’s office, with a surprised look on her face. She had been healed. I’m sure Travis fixed a few more things that day. His new chiropractic clinic is slated to open Spring of 2013.
On Tuesday, many of the camp staff traveled to Brentwood for a dinner hosted by friends of the camp from the Nashville area. It was a great evening of food, music, conversation, and work to keep this place growing. We got to see a good cross section of friends, young and old. As we watched our new video for the camp (which is awesome, by the way), you could hear people making those barely audible noises that say so much. The “hmmms” and “ohhhhs” and “mmmmmms,” the longer than normal inhales and exhales. You can hear that people are making a connection. They’ve walked those paths, made those friends. We all remember. We all know it. Different sites, different statements will stick with different people, but it’s hard to see all the good that this place has done without finding something that touches some part of you.
The danger in long streaks is that it can warp our sense of reality if we aren’t careful. A long losing streak can foster defeatism. A long winning streak can make us feel invincible. When we really look at it, we know we are neither. The rain will return to us, though these dry times are trying. The good in our lives may not last forever. We better appreciate it fully while it is with us. If the coyotes have woken you up tonight, go out on your porch and listen to their wild song. They’ll stop soon enough. Who knows when our streaks will end. When will our teams win, so we can cheer the way we’ve dreamed? How long will our hot streak last? In our days of uncertainty, we have 3 great things to keep with us: faith, hope, and love. And you know the greatest.
Pray for our guests this weekend: Northside UMC Elementary and the two who will join in marriage on Saturday.