Sunday, November 26, 2017

In Memoriam

When I have a thing to say I can usually find the words to express it. I wasn’t sure I could write this one though. One thing I do know, regardless all the things I do not know or am not, I am a writer. The qualifier of good or bad is subjective and depends on who is critiquing. So good, bad, or ugly, write I must. The reason(s) why I struggled to pull this post together are many and are woven as tightly together as the weft and warp of a swatch of silk. 

I met Marian Clark in 1975 when my oldest daughter wanted to join Camp Fire Girls. Marian was the group leader of the third grade Blue Birds. The girls had such a wonderful year exploring and learning under Marian’s enthusiastic guidance I was honored when she asked if I would like to be her assistant as the girls advanced to the next level in fourth grade. 

Marian was one of a kind. Always positive, always looking to learn and teach. She was certainly my mentor during the ten years I assisted her with the Camp Fire group. While the girls were growing up and learning, experiencing so much, I was too. The first camp out at Camp Waluhili has a revered spot in my long term memory. I had no idea what I was doing but Marian guided us through each step of the experience from building a fire in a misting rain to cooking on a homemade tin can stove top. 

Though it may be cliche to say I could fill a book with the memories of those years, it is also quite true. One time stands out though. It was after we had all become seasoned campers and the girls were mostly in charge, so Marian and I could kick back a little. We were in one of the newer cabins at our final Horizon camp out weekend playing Spoons in a circle on the floor. At one point, in the frenzied moment of spirited play, Marian, who was always a model of decorum, lost her mind and climbed up in the middle of one of the girls to grab a card. Laughing so loudly, disturbing the peace, we were paid a visit by Miss Peggy who issued a stern warning for us to honor lights out. We dutifully went to bed, stifling our giggles, but I fell asleep savoring that moment - our last camp out with the girls on the verge of stepping into their adult lives. Exciting, rewarding and bittersweet all in one mess of emotion. 

Life whizzes by in a blur most of the time and memories of the people and events that shaped us can fade. But I will never forget Marian Clark and all the ways she influenced my life. Heaven has gained an amazing teacher. 

I still have the songs we wrote around the camp fire in my now ancient song binder. This one is dated 1979:

Wood smoke drifting in the air
Voices harmonize
Golden memories that we share
Cherished all our lives

Camp Waluhili
We love you
Camp Waluhili
We will be true

The hoot owl watches as we learn
The wonders of these things
We watch the gentle fire burn
And quietly we sing

Camp Waluhili
We love you
Camp Waluhili
We will be true

Peaceful moments, laughter, fun
Each joy that we recall

But through the years they blend to one
Waluhili is it all

Camp Waluhili
we love you
Camp Waluhili
We will be true

Somewhere in the middle of all this there might be a thread of facing my own mortality at this stage of my own timeline and all those things done or not done, opportunities blown, which make up the sum of my rewards awaiting me. 

Rest in peace, Marian, you more than earned all of the jewels in your crown.

For Him,

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