Wednesday, July 28, 2010

The Variance of Circumstance

Yep, I'm still talking about our trip. You can read more about it here

Okay, so I'm talking less about the trip per se, and more about where we stayed. We stayed in a campground. It was interesting. I highly recommend it to anyone who's doing some traveling: not only is it relatively inexpensive compared to a hotel, it's also more infinitely more interesting. 

You see, in a hotel, you are in your little room. Alone. You don't necessarily encounter other people who are staying there as well. A campground is different. We were there for five nights. Some people were just passing through and stayed one night. Others have been there much, much longer. 

We discovered after the first day or so that a significant portion of the people at the campground were actually living there. Because you move about the campground going about your routine such as laundry, washing dishes, using the bathrooms and showers, etc, you see a lot of them.

Most people who are living there are temporary workers from other parts of the country; for example, one woman I talked to was from Edmonton. She followed her husband there. She told me every time she saw my kids she felt homesick, missing her grandbabies who were about the same age. 

We had Steven King staying in a decrepit camper across the road from us. I swear, it was Steven King. Okay, not Steven King as much as it was Stuart Redman, a character from his 1970's novel, The Stand. Minus the dog. And none of that Captain Trips stuff. (If you understood all those references, does that mean you're a geek too? The first Steven King novel I ever read was "The Stand". I bought it at Value Village for $2 when I was with my friend Kelly. The book smelled like cigarette smoke. I was twelve years old.)

Okay, okay, the point... 

I found myself humming one of my favourite Carolyn Arends songs, Travelers (The Airport Song).  The song is about... well, traveling. And waiting in airports. Which doesn't necessarily have anything to do with a campground in Regina. But there's a line: 

"There is variance in circumstance 
Direction and occasion
But the truth is we're all travelers
Who have not reached our final destination"


that sticks with me. 

In that campground, there was that variance. Some were there for happy reasons, like us. Some where there strictly for work, like the Edmonton lady. Others, like the family next door, appeared to be living there for other, less joyous reasons. The husband came and went each day in his work uniform, and probably wasn't a migrating worker like the Edmonton people. The wife often cried in the bathroom at night. The two kids were rarely seen, and smiled even more rarely. 

In our life, and in our faith, we all have that variance in circumstance, direction and occasion. Again in Ms. Arends' words: "There are signs to welcome daddies, There are flowers and balloons, Business trips and funerals, And happy honeymoons."

I suppose that lesson has never been more vivid in my life. How we can all collectively be in the same physical space, and yet none of us are in the same place.

Our faith, which for all intents and purposes is a never-ending journey, tends to make us occupy the same physical space while rarely being in the same place. It happens every Sunday. Each of us there are at different points in our journey home.

And some are stuck at the airport. Others are in mid-flight, but have terrible turbulence. A few are flying smoothly over a clear, jet-blue ocean. 

It makes me question where I am on my own journey. And who's flying the plane. 

1 comment:

  1. We did a lot of camping growing up; economic and social reasons. We too met a variety of people and it is such an opportunity.

    I'm not sure how I stumbled on your site but I am Canadian too! I just wanted to invite you to enter my iTunes Gift Card Giveaway. I have not a single entry as of yet so your chances are good :)