We are not unique when it comes to being with friends and family. We love and enjoy every minute of our time together. While we never know what our conversation will be about, it’s always an excellent dialogue because we are there for each other and fully present. It’s the best.
We know the gift that each visitor is to us. They often bring memories, and we share them with gusto, laughing, and sometimes shedding tears full of gratitude. But sharing brings to the present happenings in the past that we had no idea took place. As guardians, Lenette and I were the envelopes that youth, being what it is and ought to be, pushed, pulled, and manipulated. We hear their stories now and love to listen to them. They broke a few rules and crossed lines. Still, youth needs to be youth; of course, they were. As adults, they all turned out to be our kind of people.
The beauty of these visits is twofold. Reliving stories from our past together and having some serious discussions about the present. And how can these conversations not be serious? Our visitors do not worry about themselves but about their children, grandchildren, and great-grandchildren. Nothing about our world is as it was, so reliving the past is a good thing, at least temporarily. Still, few of our visitors live only in their history. We experience them as fully present and very aware of the problems that our nation and world face.
We share it all. As I said above, we share genuine dialogue in the present as we did so often in the past. Being able to experience this is something we all hold on to and value. We all enjoyed the benefits of genuine dialogue at our camps during the 50s, 60s, and 70s and during the workshops we held in organizations throughout the country. Most people do not have this good fortune, but we do and love each moment we are together.