I never thought to appreciate the peace and quiet of an empty cottage - that is, until three adults, two dogs, and one nine-year-old arrived in Michigan this weekend. Though the atmosphere is much lighter and happier with them there, it’s also full of distractions, so I’ve found myself bouncing around to various places in the CSA for a quiet place to work and have time to myself.
There are so many beautiful places here that I’ve taken for granted; Pilgrim Place, of course, but also hidden gems among the paths behind the Assembly Building, the area down by Lake Michigan… even the South Room of the Meeting House is a peaceful place with a beautiful view of the tennis courts. Discovering these spots has motivated me to take more time to explore the places I’ve never looked too hard at the next time I’m free. Technology is important these days, but the charm of the CSA has always been the untouched pockets of nature and beauty, and experiencing it always feels so special.
Despite how we come here to get away, the pandemic has made technology more essential for communication than ever, and I’m still working to find the right balance. Doing things like streaming church services and chasing people around for pictures is tough work, but the thought that I’ve helped even one person feel more connected to the community is motivation enough. It’s crazy to think that I’ve made it through half of the summer already… and I’m looking forward to the other half!
Since I’ve never been here at the beginning of the CSA season before, I’ve found it fascinating how the community starts to feel more and more alive as people begin to arrive. The first week was very peaceful and relaxing, but nothing compares to the energy of a CSA full of people lounging on the beach, participating in activities, and having fun with their friends. The Fourth of July’s positive energy was particularly infectious to me; I don’t think I’ve ever seen Crystal Beach as packed as it was during the Water Carnival!!
As the CSA has gotten busier, so have I. It’s been so nice to see most of the Communications Committee in person (they’re full of ideas for articles!), and the weather has been gorgeous - I’ve gone for so many bike rides that I’ve somehow managed to make two of our old bikes develop skipping gears. Oops. Maybe I should look into learning how to repair them...
It’s also been so cool how many people have recognized me thanks to the Weekly Newsletter - that’s the power of communications for you! Although, for the people that haven’t recognized me, I just say “I’m Ruthie Reeve’s granddaughter… you know, the lady with the big dogs?” That one always works like a charm. It’s one of my favorite things about the CSA: even if you don’t know someone, both of you will have someone else in common. Since there are so many people up here now, I’m beyond thrilled to be meeting so many new people, and I look forward to meeting more!