The weather has been glorious these past few days. This is the time of year that even the most contrary people you know mention how nice the weather is. The nights are comfortably cool and the days are comfortably warm. There is a breeze in the air that keeps things from getting too stuffy. As I type, my windows are open, and every time it begins to feel a little warm, the breeze picks up and makes things nice again. If you walk in the woods, looking over the ridges that surround the camp, you’ll begin to see patches of red in the green sea of leaves. The changes are sneaking up on us as the world begins to even out a bit more each day.
We are very close to one of the most even days of the year, as Friday is the last day of Summer, making Saturday the Fall equinox. On this day, we will have as close to equal daylight and night as any other day of the year. From now until late December the days will begin getting shorter and cooler. For now, though, at Lakeshore we are in a fairly even-keeled world. The days are not too hectic, yet we have steady retreat guests. The pace has slowed down from summer camp and has not yet got the October rush. As the temperatures get to that perfect point, we find that we are able to get a little more of the rest we need (whether we take advantage or not is up to us).
It is a time of transitions. Baseball has moved into the playoff hunt, while football is just beginning to take shape. Kids and youth are getting back into the swing of school and we are gearing up for new television shows to watch, especially once the earlier nightfalls set in. Corky had hoped this would be the last time he’d have to mow this year. After the couple of inches of rain we got, he’s thinking he may be in to mow one or two more times. It won’t be long, though, until the maintenance crew will only use the mower to move leaves.
We are moving into a time of balance, moving away from the extremes. Most of us, overall, enjoy balance in our lives. Sure, extremes can be exciting for a time, but they wear on most people pretty quickly. We often look at the summer and winter most nostalgically, but we also tend to complain the most about them. The first month of these times can be fun, but we are tired of it by the end. You don’t hear many people saying, “man, this fall weather is getting old.” Of course not. It’s very nicely balanced. It’s not exciting. It won’t get to life-threatening temperatures. There aren’t Olympic games specifically associated with it. But, it gives us a good little bit of time to settle down for some normal. The extremes get scary or uncomfortable. Like your friend who insists on talking about far left or right politics constantly. Even if you agree, that talk, day after day, makes you want to forget politics altogether.
For the two years prior to 2012, we had huge floods in the spring, covering the waterfront. There was 5-6 foot of water over our prayer labyrinth. Driftwood and trash was dumped all over, and our docks, canoe racks, and walkways were picked up and moved. We were hardly ready by the time Summer Camp started. It was a frustrating experience, and there was nothing to be done about them. This year, we had a very dry Spring, and there was no flooding whatsoever. As a result, river grass took over much of the water, and it is still there. We’d really just prefer something in the middle.
But, we are in a time of extremes. Sometimes, this is rightly so. There are times that we need to take drastic measures to defend the things we believe in. There are times that we are asked make huge sacrifices, and these times are probably not finished. For our future, we will likely have to make some big changes. No matter who we elect and which of our politically obsessive friends are appeased or vastly disappointed, some of the responsibility for the change we ask for falls on us. Christ will call us to do great things, huge things, sometimes extreme things. We will, no doubt, have to change our habits at some point to find real peace and happiness–this is the case no matter what point in history.
But, for now, it’s nice to have these days. The times you can go out and feel the perfect air on your face. Those days when it doesn’t matter what you wear–you’ll be alright. Those days when things settle into something we expect. Fall days like these would be great for a day we could all agree to be perfect. When all the soldiers finish their work and, no longer needed, come home to their families. When we’ve all realized our callings and doing the work that makes us most happy. When we taste the food from the days harvest, smiling at our friends and family who share the table, we will give thanks to a great God, and, for that time, we will know him as he knows us. When we fall asleep on those nights, we will rest without worry or fear, just the soft assurance that everything sits in perfect balance.
Enjoy your daylight. Enjoy your starlight.
We are excited to Welcome 1st UMC Jackson Confirmation and the joining of two in marriage. Keep us in your prayers.