Tag Archives: Pawnee Rock

Camping

My enthusiasm for Camp Mennoscah has deep roots.  Roots that go back to my childhood. The very word camp brings back memories of my years as a Hungarian Girl Scout in Cleveland Ohio. You might be thinking, “you must have meant to say American Girl Scout,” but no, Hungarians formed Scout troops patterned after the Hungarian Scouting movement that was disbanded by the Communist regime and replaced by the Pioneers. Thankfully I was not forced to become a Pioneer in Hungary, I was excused because we lived too far from school. I joined one of the four Scout troops in in Cleveland. There were boys’ and girls’ troops on the East and the West side of town. We did lots of activities most of which were oriented toward folk traditions art, folk song, music, dancing and celebrating Christmas and Easter in traditional Hungarian folk ways. Though I have wonderful memories most have faded over the years except for camping. Annual camping remains vivid in my memories. I loved everything about camping. We did not sleep in cabins, have running water or toilets, it was primitive camping. For one week, we created a camp lasting bonds, respect for each other and our environment in the woods. I loved it from my first time in 1957 to my last camp in 1965.

Hungarian Scouting Folk Art Camp 19645

 

I often longed to go camping as the years went by, but the experience never repeated.  Until now as I bask in reveres of past camping experiences and planning for Camp Mennoscah.

My excitement and anticipation for the 39th annual camping event for Pretty Prairie and Pawnee Rock churches grows stronger as the beginning of  camp, October 17 approaches.

The weather will be cooler than it has been in the past two months. By then the trees bushes will be in their autumn splendor. Over the 38 years the Camp traditions have evolved. The activities involve fellowship, exploring nature, scripture study, creating fantastic community meals and worship. The grand finale on Sunday, after a Communion worship is a turkey dinner.

The Ninnescah River is nearby for nature walks.

Ninnescah River

Ninnescah River

All are invited.  All of us will contribute and help prepare the food served at each meal. We bring our own bedding. There are lots of beds in the men’s and women’s “dorm” rooms. However, some people choose to go home during the two nights of camp.  No need for reservation.

Camp Minoscah is located in Murdock, KS

9458 SE 40 St, Murdock, KS 67111

See Google maps:

Map of Camp Mennoscah in Murdock, KS

Biophilia

The chaos of purging, sorting, packing and moving across 4 states to Kansas is a memory. It seems a life time ago. that I was walking in the desert. Only a little over 2 years ago my partner and I returned from Florida to Tucson. I was convinced then hat I was called back to the desert. I felt that call most while I was at the Redemtorist Renewal CenterHosea 2:14 spoke to me and I listened, “So now I am going to draw her back to me. I will lead her into the desert. There I will speak tenderly to her. ”  While taking a course in Spiritual Direction at the Hesychia School for Spiritual Direction, I came to love the desert even more.

The view from the Chapel courtyard

The desert spoke to me in gentle comforting sounds, through bunnies standing still for me to take their Bunny posingpicture, quails, calling to each other, coyotes sauntering across the road, brilliant bird of paradise plants swaying in the breeze and stunning sunsets and sunrises gave endless delight on my walks. The last week before my move, I experienced the most enchanting sights. I was dazzled by the Century plant on a very rare misty morning on a sunrise walk.

Leaning Century plant in the morning mist

 

Those of you living in this area of Tucson, know that the mountains are nearly always visible. But on this amazing morning, they were whited out not by dust but a mist.

During my last week of working at a night job, I beheld this amazing sunset.

Sauaro in the sunsetg

Frank Rose on the trail

Gabriella by an uproted tree

I  bid farewell with Rev. Frank Rose who lead me on a nature hike to the beloved Mount Lemmon,  where I first fell in love with Tucson.

Rainbows have always delighted me but in Tucson we see them rarely except during the monsoon. A soft gentle rain was falling on one of my last sunrise walks. I went walking anyway looking towards the cloudy eastern horizon breathing in the scent familiar to desert dwellers exhaled by mesquites trees. I rounded a corner and saw it, a bright beautiful rainbow. Then, as I walked along taking pictures, there was another bow in the sky.

20140727_054955

I was comforted by the sight of the rainbow and by these amazing sights during my last days in Tucson. Good wishes and hugs from friends and family gave me comfort but leaving familiar sights, places and friends behind is sad. New beginnings are exciting and full of promise but a sense of loss caught me many times.

The trip to Kansas was tiring for both Danny and I, though he did the driving. I watched the scenes unroll before me. New sights delighted me. Driving through a NM shower, we saw a patch of bright rainbow ahead of us. A sign of hope and restoration. We saw magnificent view of mountains and cattle grazing in green fields, occasionally, deer alongside of the road. Thankfully, they stayed on the grassy side.

Poet Kathleen Raine perfectly describes the way I felt.  “Meaning moods the whole scale of our inner experience, finds in nature “the correspondences” through which we may know our boundless selves.” For Swedenborgians  everywhere this strikes a familiar tone.  As spiritual beings we’re always moving from one state to another. We may be moved in our spirit by the changes we experience with our physical senses.  I was undergoing an internal shift, as we drove through the countryside. I was called to another place, to freshly plowed fields, wheat and corn fields.

My attraction to natural phenomena is not at all unique. Recently, I found the word, biophilia describing a deeply rooted biological instinct for loving living things.

I am in a new environment, marveling at the natural beauty of the fields,  the sky, the trees on my sunset walks. I am content and at feel peace around me. My first Kansas sunset:

Kansas sunset

I am settling into a new life new patterns and work that engages my body mind and spirit. I The congregation of Pretty Prairie and Pawnee Rock Kansas i have made me feel welcome. I embracing my new experiences in Kansas. Look for these in the coming months,