If there were no rainy days, there would be no rainbows

When I was a very little girl, my Favourite Aunt used to abandon me each summer to go to this mystical, magical place called Forest Cliff. (it should be pointed out that Favourite Aunt was, at the time, a young single adult who dedicated much of her time and effort to making the world a better place) This mystical, magical place was a summer camp, and oh, how I longed for the day when I would be old enough to go to camp with Auntie.

And then, eventually, I was. And between the ages of almost 8 and almost 14, I got to go to summer camp for two weeks at a time, five summers. Unfortunately, Favourite Aunt was only there for two of them, but that’s ok – she got me there, and it’s an experience I’ll always remember.

Couple years ago, Favourite Aunt and some other Wonderful Ladies decided that Forest Cliff alumnae from “the old days” ought to retreat to camp again each year – take the chance to reflect, renew and refresh in that place that was so special to them and to me. And we got to bring our “adult” daughters! (most of whom never ended up going to camp there)

This year’s retreat was long anticipated. And then, just five days before Retreat, we got the word that our magical, mystical place would not be available to us after all this year. Much scrambling by people who aren’t me ensued, and alternative accomodation was found down the road.

Same air. Same lake. Same smell. But not the same place.

But we soldiered on. Camp, after all, is as much a state of mind as it is a place, and we were all bringing all the same baggage we would have brought anyway. We would just have to place it under different bunks.

And then, the weather. Cloudy, rainy, cold, more rainy. How would we kayak? How would we enjoy the trees, the sky, the stillness of the forest if it were all cloaked in a mantle of grey?

Never doubt that God knows what He’s doing.

Our speaker this weekend was just what we needed to hear. Sue Minns is  wheelchair-bound due to MS and a breast cancer survivor to boot. And she had us rolling on the floor as she regaled us with tales of the many blessings God has seen fit to send her.  As the parent of my very own PollyAnna (aka The Girl And The Knee Attached To Her), Minns’ message was spot-on.  You can choose to spend your life lamenting the fact that you can’t walk – or you can choose to embrace the fact that you can wear four inch heels all day without getting sore feet.

It rained off and on, stopping long enough to for the kayakers to kayak, and the walkers to walk. The weather meant we all spent a lot more time seeking out each other’s company instead of wandering the woods alone. And just as dinner was ending, the most beautiful thing happened:

100_2506I think the neatest thing was that we got to experience this as a group. Had we been at our original location, dinner wouldn’t have run a bit late. We would have  been scattered around, likely in a building whose windows didn’t face this direction, doing other things. And we would have missed this amazing view that was sent for us to enjoy together with our dessert.

Isn’t it wonderful that God gives us the ability to see a new perspective once in a while?


6 Responses to “If there were no rainy days, there would be no rainbows”

  1. kim Says:

    I am so thankful that you allowed me to accompany you on this magical journey. It really was a breath of fresh air in a world that lately has felt too stale.

  2. Ruthmary Weiler Says:

    Thank you so much for letting me share in a bit of the experience this year! I so hope to be able to go with you guys next year!

    Your favourite Auntie is wonderful! I love her.

    This was beautiful. Our God sure does know what He’s doing!

  3. Crystal Rathwell Says:

    Wow! What a great weekend God gave you all. He always gives us exceedingly abundantly, doesn’t He. Just loved your story.

  4. Beth Reimer Stewart Says:

    This is cool! Do you write short stories? Is this what this site is about?

    Enjoyed your article. It was a great weekend.

  5. Ann Says:

    This is a great article, to go with the great speaker we had and the great weekend of fellowship.

  6. Mary Wareing Says:

    Thank you Shell!!!!
    You have an amazing way with words!!!
    It was an awesome weekend, with the girls past Forest Cliff.
    Thank you for coming and bringing Kim!
    This past weekend it was great to be together.
    I hope all your girls enjoyed themselves?
    It is not often we get to see a double rainbow!
    Totally awesome!!!

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