Monday, September 7, 2009

Labor Day Memories

Happy Labor Day, all. This is a holiday that comes loaded with memories for me.

Every Labor Day weekend of my childhood, from elementary school through college, my parents took us to a Labor Day family camp sponsored by our church. Above and beyond the fact that I love all things camping, these weekends were really special to me. Though the group was never identical from year to year, there was a core contingent of families who attended faithfully. I grew up with these kids and their parents, and though I see them only rarely now, sometimes I still think of them almost like cousins, and they exist in a unique place in my mind. The space created among us was one you could walk into year after year and always find it the same, despite the changes in our normal lives.

Watching the movie Dan in Real Life the other day, I was reminded of the kinds of experiences I had at Family Camp, and I find myself craving another three day weekend of games and conversation, the kind of quality time that comes only when we separate ourselves from the daily grind, far away from television, internet access and cell phone reception.

Sally's recent post about online friends is what first got me onto this train of thought, actually. I love the way the internet brings people together who might never otherwise meet, and how it connects, engages and inspires people in myriad ways. But for me, those relationships inevitably leave me wanting.

The simplicity of singing together around a campfire is something I've never been able to replicate online. I crave the presence of people around me, sitting together with no agenda other than to simply be with one another. It utterly refreshes me and emboldens me to face the storm of technology that is my daily life.

So, here's to Labor Day weekend, may it be a time of rest, reflection and connection. A break from the fray and a chance to reach out and meet each other face to face. It makes all the difference.

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