I’m still refusing to believe it completely, but it appears that summer is here.
Our counseling staff arrived today lugging their belongings for the summer, excitedly hugging one another and meeting our new summer staff. They moved into their cabins and it appears that they plan to stay for a little while.
I keep thinking they are actually going home in a couple of days. I spent so much time waiting for the summer to arrive, and then about a few weeks back I started mentally slamming on the breaks – wondering how I could squeeze just a little more time in to get things done before everything started up. I still haven’t figured out how to stop time, so here we are. Family Camp starts Wednesday and until that my staff will be getting the property ready and taking part in some training.
We dove right into the staff manual tonight, and they were good sports about listening to me while I reminded them of our policies and procedures. It took a while to get through it all, and when we were finished it was pushing 10:30pm. We took a quick break to go outside and look at the super moon, and then gathered back in the barn for our service of Compline.
I joked with the counselors and staff all through the evening that this would be a summer of change. We’ve made some big changes and the adjustment will take some time for all of us. But one of the things that will never change about our time together is that we end every day with the service of Compline. Those prayers are our anchor, and without them I think we’d feel adrift as we moved through our day here.
As always the words were music to my ears. Ten months is a long time to wait for your “worshipping community” (so to speak, for priest types) to return. I have missed them. So the sound of their voices washed over me.
When it came time for us to sing the Te Lucis, something shifted in the air. We Rhode Islanders tend to speed through the service. We know it so well and we’re fast talkers, so the result is sometimes that the whole thing is over and done with in what seems like moments. But tonight we started the song and there was this beautiful solemnity to it. We were slow and intentional, allowing our breath to suspend in the space, savoring the words and sounds. No rushing. No thinking about the next thing. Just total presence in that moment with that beautiful chanting.
Before the ending of the day,
Creator of the world we pray
That with thy wonted favor thou
Wouldst be our guard and keeper now
From all ill dreams defend our sight
From fears and terrors of the night
Withhold from us our ghostly foe
That spot of sin we may not know
Oh Father that we ask be done
Through Jesus Christ thine only Son
Who with the Holy Ghost and thee
Doth live and reign eternally. Amen.
I haven’t been able to savor much lately. I’ve been too busy getting ready for camp. Or at least that’s what I tell myself. We’re all pretty good at convincing ourselves that we’re too busy to pray, to worship, to walk, to breathe: whatever we might need to connect with God.
In fact, I felt too busy tonight. So I’m grateful to my staff for showing up, for lifting their beautiful voices in song, and for loving and appreciating our evening worship together. I can only hope that this was the first of many magical moments we will share together this summer.
Take a breath friends. It’s good for you.