Sam and I have been fortunate enough to be able to do some traveling this year. After camp we toured Italy — Rome, Florence, Pisa, and Venice. It was a real treat!
While in Rome, we quite naturally visited The Vatican. There are no words to adequately describe how one feels in the Sistine Chapel. The beauty of the artwork is beyond belief. Also, one definitely feels the presence of God. I could have stayed in that chapel for hours absorbing the peace and beauty.
For Thanksgiving we drove out to California to spend the holiday with Patrick, who is stationed near Fresno. The weather out in California reminded us of camp, with cool mornings and mild days. While there we visited the Winchester Mystery House in San Jose, and it smelled like the Cottage at camp. It seems that wherever we go we take a little bit of the camp spirit with us!
On our trip home from California, we stopped at the Grand Canyon and I saw it for the first time. As I walked up to the overlook and saw the Canyon, I was overcome by the same feeling I had in the Sistine Chapel. Words and photos are completely inadequate to describe it. I felt the presence of God there and the same sense of peace and beauty came over me. I didn’t want to leave.
We’re now coming to my favorite time of the year — Christmas. I’m usually caught up in the preparations — cooking, decorating, wrapping, and readying for family visits. I’m still doing all of that now, but I have a different feeling about it all this year. God is everywhere, I know. But I guess I can see it better now. All of my efforts this Christmas will have a little deeper meaning since I experienced this special kind of peace.
I wish you all peace and happiness this Christmas and in the new year.
Bonnie Dawson, Director of Special Events, Camp Alleghany for Girls