Much joy!

I awoke on Friday morning feeling renewed. Despite the nightmare, I was able to get back to sleep and slept solidly. Also I was happy to note that there had been no interruptions from sick campers through the night. Whew!

The place was amazingly silent, but then again it was still early. It would be another 45 minutes or so before they would even start Radio Acorn and the wake up call. I decided to get up and enjoy the quiet.

I cautiously climbed down the ladder and rolled up our ‘towel curtain’. I pushed open the window a couple of inches and then raised my eyes to look out. I stopped. The view took my breath away! 



I could see a soft rain falling on the lake as stormy clouds moved away. A mist hung low over the water. Far off in the distance I could see a fisherman in a canoe. The greenery of the forest below my window was so bright it was almost fluorescent. The scent in the air was heavy with earthy smells — pine, cedar, dark rich soil, a hint of wild honeysuckle and milkweed and then…something else. I couldn’t put my finger on it at that time. 


That moment filled me with such overwhelming peace and joy that I felt momentarily paralyzed. It was surprising. I mean, I guess I figured being a camp nurse would involve a whole lot of giving. I had not counted on ‘getting’ anything. I could not suppress a grin. This place was such an incredible ‘gift’! 

I quietly pulled my (mostly) dry running attire off our makeshift laundry line and got dressed. I grabbed the can of Tim Horton’s coffee I had purchased. I needed to spread joy myself…in the form of coffee! I tiptoed down the hall and through the stairwell and entered the deserted dining hall. I could hear someone in the kitchen, music on low, working on breakfast. 

I found all the necessities for making coffee and set to it. Twelve cups of coffee coming up! I figured I had about five minutes before the coffee was ready so I decided to go up to the health office and get the medications set out for the morning. I got these all lined up and I noticed a dry erase marker in one of the drawers. I decided to put a joke up on the board outside the office. So I wrote: “What did the left eye say to the right eye? Between you and me, something smells!” and then I drew some cartoonish eyes. And then I decided to live life on the edge and really go crazy and write a ‘health tip ‘o the day’ too. So I wrote: “Always do a tick check after a walk in the woods” and then drew a cartoonish tick beside it. I stepped back and looked at it. Decent. Spreading more joy. 

I closed up the office and went back down to the dining hall. The smell of coffee filled the dining hall now. I noticed that someone had partaken of one cup of coffee already. It was likely Fr. Brian grabbing a cup on his way out to get the morning paper. I went into the kitchen to grab a coffee cup for myself. 

Shawn was busy in the kitchen ladling dough into muffin tins and humming to the sweet, sweet sounds of Boyz II Men singing “End of the Road”. I held up the carafe of coffee and pointed to it and motioned for a cup. He pointed to a shelf full of cups of various sizes, shapes, and colors. I nodded and found a large 12 oz cup for myself. Then I pointed to the carafe again and then indicated to Shawn. He nodded vigorously and then disappeared into the back room of the kitchen. He brought out a 16 oz mug and plopped it down on the counter. We broke our silence with a laugh.


“OK Shawn! I gotcha covered!”

I took his mug and mine and between the two cups, emptied the coffee carafe. I brought Shawn’s coffee back into the kitchen and placed it on the counter.

“Hang on Anne. I got something for you.” Shawn scooped one of the freshly baked muffins out of the pan and placed it on a plate. He handed it to me, steaming.

“Thanks Shawn!” I said as I took his offering. Another unexpected surprise this morning. More joy.

I took the muffin back out to the dining hall and sat it down beside my cup of coffee. I started the next pot of coffee before I took my coffee and my muffin and went out the side door to the kitchen deck. I placed the two on the damp picnic table and sat down. The rain had, by now, stopped and the clouds were quickly passing overhead. I pulled the steaming muffin apart and that is when I realized that the scent that I could not identify was that of apple cinnamon. Much joy.


…but in a good way :)!

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