Back from Family Camp and feeling a wee bit overwhelmed by the re-entry. "Camp" does little to describe the experience. I mean, yes, there are tents and campfires and sing-alongs and the great outdoors (771 acres of it), but there's also 3 hours of meditation and teachings every morning for the parents, and even age appropriate meditation and ceremony for the children.
Let me tell you, there's something incredibly transformative about spending a week meditating in a group for several hours a day. Think about it. If everyone at your work, or everyone in your extended family and all your friends sat down all at once to calm down their mind and open their senses...what would that look like?
When you mix that with something that falls somewhere between family vacation and a family reunion - it's alchemy. What would normally be fun and memorable and dig into your heart later to emerge as nostalgia becomes something indescribable and heart piercingly tender and joyful. You fall in love with everything, and then your heart breaks in all the right places, and when you come back to "regular" life you want to squeeze everyone you know until their hearts break too. You want to tell the story of Family Camp, but it doesn't come out right. "No, it's not that it's fun...", and then your heart breaks some more because you can't transmit what this is. It's nowhere to be found in words.
That's as close as I can get you to where I've been. Maybe I can edge you a little closer with this photo taken by my daughter, and a poem that the camp director recited on the last morning of camp as we sat in a misty meadow.
This poem, by the way, is attributed to Hafiz (sometimes spelled Hafez) but there has been contention and debate about the origins. Your word this week is: