Sunday, June 7, 2015

Living In Paradise

Our first camp of the year has started and as they arrived, I did my best to drink in some of the enthusiasm.

You see, there's a strange price to pay for working in paradise.

When kids arrive, they get to run around and explore and find all the little nooks and quiet spots and fun spots and the dining room and the magic. They can absorb it and it becomes their escape, their home away from home.

I remember being a camper and more importantly, I remember that feeling. As it became part of my daily life, though, that initial spark died out a bit. Now, although my love for the place is pretty well-established and those who take a tour with me might call me "a tad enthusiastic," I see the whole place differently. I see ruts in the road that need fixing, buildings that need to be cleaned, equipment out of place, doors that were left open. I see the minutiae that goes into the day-to-day upkeep and the month-to-month survival.

This time of year, I feel it, too. With every guest that tells me of a leaky faucet, with every table set up and taken down, with every hurry-up-and-clean-this-building, with every medical emergency big and small, my feet and my joints remind me of the work that goes into everyone else's vacation destination. There aren't a lot of chances to just step back ... and every part of me, mentally and physically, feels it over the course of the summer.

I suppose it's like all of the good relationships out there. You remember that spark and sizzle from the beginning, but a few years down the road you mostly see the work and the heartache. But like the good relationships, you get up every morning and look forward to it anyway -- because it's worth it.

And sometimes, you get to see someone else's first-day enthusiasm and remember why it is you love the place so much.

Or the sky clears and the stars shine and you can't imagine things any other way.

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