The wind blows over Lake Couchiching on this cold, gray, morning; its distant roar the first sound I hear as I wake in my cozy bed at Geneva Park YMCA Retreat and Leadership Training Centre, where I am for two and a half days of training.
In the bathroom, from somewhere nearby I hear skin squeaking against bathtub, and bumping as someone steps out; a shower starts to run, then a hairdryer—the sounds of co-workers in adjoining rooms starting their days.
It’s a refreshing break to be here; a time to learn and grow as a large team, but as I open up my Daily Light this morning I am drawn to another place and feel a longing for the day when time loses its meaning and there is no ending.
One thing I ask of the Lord, this is what I seek: that I may dwell in the house of the Lord all the days of my life, to gaze upon the beauty of the Lord and to seek him in his temple.
At breakfast I sit with Dennis, Gord, Jon, Janet, Marianne and Carolyn and we soon are engaged in conversation that has us all laughing at corny jokes, like Gord’s answer to “How did you sleep?” which was, “With my eyes closed.”
We find ourselves talking about parenting. Our ages span several decades and around the table are parents of very young children as well as teenagers—and me, a grandmother.
Gord,a father of young daughters says that he kind of looks forward to the day when they say, “Dad, you’re embarrassing me.”
Marianne whose daughter is already there, says that she's been called a “crackpot,” and Jon says that his son called him a “freak show.”
Janet tells us that she has been greeted on the way out of the door, by the words, “Mom, you’re not wearing that are you?” and when driving the car and bopping to the music on the radio, she’s been told in a horrified tone, “Mom, stop!”
Oh, the indignity and humiliation of parenthood.
I remember the days of my children not wanting to be seen with me in public. I once gave a ride to a young man who was a few years older than my own kids, when they were teenagers and was surprised that he didn’t mind me waiting in full view for him to return to the car after he registered at college. I had been trained to stay discretely out of sight when dropping my kids off at school--those days seem long ago now!
This time out is a gift for which I’m grateful. Here there is laughter, rest, inspirational teamwork and time to connect with old friends. God is good.