Archived Story

In God there is no large or small

Published 3:51pm Tuesday, July 27, 2010

Im at Camp Glen Arden again this summer, working in the kitchen. Everything is the same as in years past, yet everything is different. The maintenance man who worked here for 64 years, ever since this camp began, died suddenly in a tractor accident the second week that camp was in session. At first there was shock, then tears. Now theres a silent empty place. Because this is a camp for happy little girls, many of whom did not know Raymond except that he was the maintenance man, weve kept the camp activities going as if there was not a tragedy, sort of like it would be if Raymond were still here.

Maybe this internalizing of the tragedy has made us all think a bit more deeply about what it means to lose someone so dear to us all, someone who was not an important person on the big world scene, but someone who was always there, ready to help make life easier for us adults and a lot of silly little girls. It has made me think about what we take for granted, and what brings us comfort in our lives. My cabin is surrounded by hemlocks, many of them dying. I know that soon they will be gone, and this cabin will no longer be in the cool shade. Will there be something else to take their place? Will there be someone to take Raymonds place? Will we remember that quiet presence, or will we just be a little less comfortable, looking for a product or escape to replace what has been lost?

At the top of this road there is a 1000+ acre tract of land being clear cut. Trucks loaded with huge logs roll past the kitchen all day long, day after day. That 1000 acres was inherited by a man in Florida who was not satisfied with the quiet comforts of life, but sought happiness by means of high living with a bit of cocaine to enhance reality. Unfortunately, he could not financially maintain that lifestyle and borrowed money against his inheritance. &bsp;

The result is an ugly clear-cut that will take 50 years to heal&bsp; and 100 years to be like it was before being cut. After all the hulla-ballu about the steep timbercut near Harmon Field, I want to show you all what real environmental devastation looks like. I think about those trees that stood for so long, providing habitat for thousands of animals, not to mention a great place for campers to walk and ride the horses for campouts. One mans folly brought devastation to 1000 acres and all that was on it. And that was an important man in the big scene.

Its the unimportant people, and the unimportant plants and animals that give us lifes comfort and security. &bsp;

Endangered species are important in that they remind us that things get lost forever if we dont take care of what weve got now. Its honesty, service, kindness, responsibility, acceptance, and simple caring that bring us comfort, and happiness. &bsp;

What would it be like without trees to give us shade? Its even&bsp; harder to imagine that than it is to think of camp without Raymond. &bsp;

Its the simple things that we value the least in the present and miss the most when they are gone.

What do we honor and value most? Our actions, and our lives, should reflect the answer to that question.

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