The Big Picture & The Small (REDUX)

Happy summer!  It’s been far too long since I wrote to you, my friend, but working at a campground means that July is VERY BUSY.  Everett and I have been working opposite shifts and barely even seeing each other.  The camp is full of folks with questions and problems and issues needing resolution, and the phone has been ringing off the hook with more reservations and . . . well, folks with questions and problems and issues needing resolution.  I was beginning to get into a downward spiral of frustration with the general idiocy of city folk coming to the country for 3 days.  Then I realized that I was missing The Big Picture.

As you know, I am generally a small picture sort of person.  I love the minutia, the details, the small peripheral moments that – for me – make life a rich tapestry.  But sometimes (like July in a campground) you have to step back from those to look at what’s happening OVERALL to appreciate the full fabric of this wonderful world.

For example – An irritable woman arrived at the front desk around 8:30pm one evening.  Her family was already in camp, but she’d had to work later than expected and drive alone from Boston to join them.  It was hot.  She was alone.  She was tired, but still cranked from her day of work and traffic and worry.  She snapped at our staff and tried to hurry us through our (admittedly tedious) procedure of issuing her gate pass.  She snatched it from my hand when it was ready and was out the door before I could explain how to use it.  No surprise then, that when she tried to go through the gate it wouldn’t open for her.  She honked her horn and screamed out her car window as  I walked the 50 feet or so to the gate to help her.  “It doesn’t work!” is about the only thing she said that I can repeat here.  I took the pass and scanned it for her and the gate readily popped open.  She took a deep breath and I was sure I was in for more screaming.  But that tired, tense, anxious and frustrated woman simply took another deep breath and said, “Oh.  I moved too fast – it has to be done in CAMP TIME.”

I hope the rest of her stay with us was in camp time, and that she can dip into that pool of peace when she needs it back home.  I hope that all our visitors can take their big picture lessons from camp time back to their “real” lives.  And I hope that I retain MY big picture lesson to help folks get through the tough moments and the ignorance and negativity that makes lives harder – I need to be on camp time too.

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