One of the joys of camp is the intentionality with which feelings are openly discussed. Last night, I was humbled by being welcomed into the feeling check and cabin time of 10 and 11 years olds voicing their emerging questions about God and faith. Today, our staff meeting closed with an intentional feeling check as well, as we round the curve into the last several days. Tonight, my daughter was adopted by a cabin of young women her age to be a part of their feeling check at close of day. What a gift: the opportunity to voice how we are really, truly feeling: highs, lows, and everything in-between. This intentionality has made me consider what a different kind of world it would be if we paused for a feeling check, even periodically. What a risky, beautiful, vulnerable act that would be.
So, I thought I would do a feeling check tonight, using the form one of our counselors introduced me to: Rose, Thorn, Bud.
My Rose in full bloom tonight is the beauty and joy on the faces of the campers who made prayer beads today during our afternoon elective. I was bouncing between their prayer bead making and our evening worship planning, so it was like magic to see their sets of beads emerging, each with its own color and character. What I loved most was their excitement to have something they had created with which they could touch, and hold, and see, and experience a connection to God. My heart overflowed with their joy and bloomed into fullness from their hugs and expressions of gratitude. My own reflection is that once again, my role is simply to create the space and offer up supplies. Then, I can slip out of the way for God to do the rest.
The Thorn is definately my knee. I have been walking a lot, and I love to walk. But, my knee which I twisted during my time at seminary started acting up painfully after a downhill hike last night. Today was my first day at camp where I wasn’t approaching 20,000 steps (and even today was still over 10,000!), because swelling and pain weren’t dissipating even with ibuprofen. I’m hopeful this (relatively) restful day will allow me to resume full walking around camp tomorrow. I’m frustrated because it makes me feel old to not be able to pop a squat on the floor, or to have to drive to meals or circle up to the Shrine instead of walking and taking in the sights, sounds, smells, and atmosphere of camp life. Hopefully, this thorny spot will be short lived.
The Bud emerging for me is to see what will happen with tomorrow’s chaplain time. I changed things up last minute to make a more self-cared focused day using the scents of healing, essentials oils and inspirational readings to accompany them. Logic tells me they could be bored; intuition and spirit tells me, it’s what we need. I’m also letting them write questions and tell me what activities they want to engage or re-engage during our final session…we’ll see how that bud emerges!
Wait, one more Rose. My daughter returned from feeling check having made several new friends, excited about getting up for breakfast to sit with them, and dragged me outside in my pajamas to see the stars with her.
The answer to world peace might just be the feeling check, friends…oh,what a wonderful world it would be.