Black Licorice

I took last week off primarily to ensure, along with Nancy, that our granddaughter got to and from Art Camp at the AGO. Most days it was an hour on the TTC each way. Crowded. She always was offered a seat, but was only really interested if it was the one at the front of the train so she could see where we were going. We enjoyed the trips and the conversation when it was possible. Mostly she likes to observe the people around her.

A typical 5-year old going on 15 years, her usual response when you asked her what it was like was “Okay.” Later in the week she opened up a little to us and allowed that she hated it because they made them work all the time. Fortunately, her mother assured us, she was having a good time but maybe found it a little structured. I get it. It’s summer after all. Judging by the amount of conversation invested in the subject her favourite activity was the egg drop on Thursday. It involved each camper group building a boat with a parachute attached. An egg was nested in the boat and the egg was transported up 2 storeys then released. Although each flight was met with enthusiasm, apparently none of the eggs survived.

At the end of the final day we were invited to the Camp Art Show to see everyone’s pieces on display. She did remarkable work. I say that out of some pride and being impressed with her blending of colours and media. Also because I struggle to make stick figures. Hell, for me, would be an eternal game of Pictionary. There was a happy vibrancy to everything we saw, including her work.

I knew, from my many years as a counselor and camp director, that camp can be difficult for younger children. Day camps don’t generally engender much homesickness (although when we chatted about my experiences she thought it was not fair that I got to go to camp and stay overnight in a sleeping bag) but it’s good to plan ways for a camper to get through each day so they can say they made it when facing the next. Each day I packed her knapsack with an emergency supply of black licorice, for which we share a fondness. It was gone by the end of the day, but she knew it would be replenished for the next day.

Our faith tradition is full of stories of trusting for the future one day at a time. From the daily mannah in the wilderness to Jesus’ words “don’t worry about tomorrow, it has enough trouble of its own” we are discipled in how to deal with anxiety. Seek the promised land, seek the way of the Holy One, and what you need for each day will be provided. Seek compassion and justice, see the persons around you, help design better parachutes, seek vibrancy in colour and texture.

Comments? Questions? Contact Cameron,