Wednesday, March 26, 2014
They Taught Me
Their Patience, Their Joy, Their Trust, My Teacher
Twenty four hours. Times seven. This can feel excruciatingly long when one is anticipating spending that time engaging in a task for which one feels thoroughly inept or severely unqualified. I had the time to give which was why I volunteered, but, despite my willing and sincere heart, the realities of the work to be involved were far, far beyond my skill set and that was terrifying. Who on earth did I think I was to sign on to be a counselor at the muscular dystrophy summer camp for a week? Four adolescent campers were to be charged to my care. The responsibility for their health, safety, and fun at their special week at summer camp and away from home was on me, and I was nothing more than willing. They arrived in wheelchairs wearing various body braces and each one had a sparkle of camp magic in their eyes. Their camp magic eyes melted my fears and fortified my resolve help them find the fun that was synonymous with summer camp. They giggled me through my nearly hopeless ineptness and patiently taught me how to serve them. We became quite the flamboyant little gang o’ fun. From hilarious costumes and daily elaborate accessorizing, to snappy, chic hairstyles and late night heart to heart conversations, we became a tightly bonded example of lovely esprit de corps; a beautiful community. My girls. Twenty four hours times seven absolutely flew and suddenly the time was expired. In a sad silence, we packed up our camp belongings preparing for the breaking up of our gang o’ fun and the return journeys to our homes and regular lives. Regular seemed to somehow represent a significant letdown. Camp magic had infused willingness with adequacy and then lifted and changed us all, and in that change, we would each forever carry a piece of that week, of that twenty four hours times seven, of each other, with us. Community started with willingness, was shaped through patience, and became treasured through commitment and love. Belonging. Connected. Us.