Gratitude in the Dark

Gratitude in the Dark

Sometimes at camp, as in life away from here, great moments come from challenging ones.  Such was the case last Saturday evening.

A storm rolled through in the late afternoon, with biblical rains, wind and thunderous booms from above. Despite our collective hopes, power was knocked out to the entire town of Windsor.

Because we have well-water here that relies on an electric pump for distribution, not only did we lose electricity but also access to drinking water and functioning toilets. Our uber-competent team sprang into action, running into town to get bottled water for everyone, bringing up buckets of lake water (and is some cases filled buckets of water from water pooled in our Gaga and Tetherball pits!) for use in flushing toilets, and generally keeping a sense of calm.

But here’s the interesting thing – everyone loved it.  Rather than despair, the campers and staff came together and more than made the best of what could have been a difficult situation.  Bunks had dance parties in the dark with glow-stick bracelets for light, campers played games by flashlight and everyone generally enjoyed working and just being together.  When the lights came back on at around 9:00 p.m., you could almost feel the collective groan from campers and staff alike.  Some even kept their lights off.

It just so happened that the morning after our “harrowing” experience without electricity for four hours 🙂 was Sunday Morning Meeting.  For those who don’t know, this meeting held in our beautiful amphitheater overlooking the lake is similar to a Quaker-style meeting. We introduce a topic for campers and staff to reflect upon and share thoughts or stories that relate to the topic.

In light (no pun intended) of our previous night’s experience, our topic for this meeting was the things we take for granted and gratitude.  As so often happens during these times, I was absolutely amazed and inspired by the thoughts your children shared.  It became immediately clear that our power outage was an incredible opportunity for all of us to consider what is important in life, how fortunate we are, and what we take for granted.

People spoke of how there are those in other parts of the world that don’t have running water or regular access to electricity, and how we become so used to things and privileges that we have until we no longer have them.  People spoke of the love of family and friends, and how we should never take these relationships for granted.  And on and on it went.  It was beautiful.

Allow me to take this opportunity to let you know how grateful I am to be a part of a community that is so inspiring and so often gets “it.”

We can’t always plan for the best moments in life – in fact I would say we rarely can.  So I will wish for you all a bit of unexpected gratitude in the dark.