Lots of Crackling Sunshine


July 22, 2022- The spunky girl took the cell phone she had left sitting on a chair, in the sunshine, and for a moment, her world came crashing down. Once I told her chaperone that an hour or so in a cool building would revitalize the phone, she was back to being an effervescent twelve-year-old.

Thirty-one young people, each of them a source of brightness or of challenge, at any given time, have been front and center for the past 1 1/2 days. Anyone wondering how a person my age could be in such a situation, and not go bonkers, is missing the big picture. The energy that seems so unmanageable now is going to be the source of a good many solutions to problems that seem insurmountable, to the very people who complain about the kids. Besides, when one takes the time to listen, any person can feel validated.

The small team of adults, each an angel in their own right, brought the campers up from the Phoenix area, for a session that will last until Monday. I stayed until this evening, then came back to Home Base, due to another commitment. It would have otherwise been no problem, to have remained at Bellemont until closing. I will be back up there next weekend, for a shorter camp, with a smaller group of adolescents.

My work was somewhat in the kitchen, and somewhat around campus. Mainly, the task was just being supportive of campers, chaperones and camp staff. We tended to one another’s needs, as if family-which is how a faith community ought to be. When a cabin full of girls reported, through their dorm master, that someone was knocking at their door after lights out, every other camper, chaperone and staff person accounted for their own whereabouts and it was determined that an adult would stand watch outside the cabin, until morning. My boss volunteered himself. If he hadn’t, I would have stayed up. No one threatens or hurts “our” kids. Least of all, do they hurt one another. One of the most important life lessons is building compassion.

Every being has a purpose, and every sentient being has several. I am honoured to be able to contribute, meaningfully, to helping these wonderful souls to find theirs.

The Spiral


November 2, 2019-

The day wound around, on a gradual upswing.  There being no Farmers’ Market today, I found my way to a special event:  Highland Nature Center’s Holiday Bazaar.  There, I found a booth where two young boys were selling some interesting, and well-made craft items, whilst being cheerfully coached by their father.  I bought a lavender cold pack, which is good for 30-40 uses.  Another booth had knit caps, for women and girls, so I bought one for a friend’s 3-year -old daughter.  Finally, some graphic artists had a booth, where I found a lovely “Welcome to Our Home” placard, as an advance gift for a couple who’ll be married next weekend.

With that, it was off to the preparation for our public observance of al-Bab’s Bicentenary.  A goodly crew of us set up an exquisite setting, at Prescott’s Senior Center, and all told, we had 65 people who attended all, or part, of the festivities.  It was a quality program, and I was glad to help several people feel at home, from a skittish woman who could barely relax, to a visitor, who was a friend of the hymn singer, and was happy to visit with the singer and his wife, if only for a short time.  The spiral continued upward.

We were done with clean-up by 5 p.m., but where is my cell phone?  I retraced my steps, found no phone, let the janitor of the hall know to look out for it, and left to take care of a couple, more urgent errands.  The errands done, a friend tipped me off that the event hall was still open, for an evening event.  So, back to the Center I went, and with the night janitor leading the way, I went to the back stage area, where I’d eaten a snack, out of sight of my satiated friends, towards the end of the set-up.

It was the night janitor who spotted my phone, neatly camouflaged, as it was monochromatic with the stereo speaker on which I’d set it, during said snack.  The day thus ended with yet another upward spiral.