fetal embellishments yearn fervently for omniscience
Wrapping up last school year: Same grades as first semester, miraculously A- and up. Owe it to self-debilitating study habits and heaps of undeserved Divine assistance.
The summer at Green Acre was amazing in too many ways to fully recount. I'll start by saying that Green Acre is a spiritually nurturing environment that is highly sheltered from the corrosive elements of modern society. I refer to it often as a bubble - got the word from Zina - and I mean it in its best possible meaning. I love my bubble.
The sharp contrast I felt between the atmosphere of college and the atmosphere of Green Acre overwhelmed me at first. After adjusting, I realized the underlying cause of such a drastic "climate change." College was just so utterly irreverent. Nothing is sacred - the hearts of your fellow human beings, the bounty of life, the contemplation of spirituality...nothing. You're supposed to make fun of everything, have a constant attitude of egotistical nonchalance. Green Acre is exactly the opposite! The place itself is sacred, and the prevailing attitude is that of reverence and devotion, and above all, love.
In addition to individuals starting their own mornings with prayer, most "work days" also started with everyone praying together, with the exception of food service because people there arrive at work at different times and the work is constant. Working as a teacher of Baha'i classes for the children attending the sessions, part of the job description is to also help out with the songs that come before morning devotions every day. I love singing, and Green Acre songs are awesome! I can play a few on the guitar because they pretty much use the same three chords. :P
A great learning experience for me was having to run a classroom environment and be in charge of Jr. Youth ages 12-14 at this Baha'i School. I learned a curriculum made by the Baha'i National Center that taught the students things I had mostly only learned myself quite recently. The bigger challenge was learning how to make the class fun and adapt each week's plan to the kind of group I was working with. I got to work with a few really amazing co-teachers who taught me skills and methods that carried through and helped me with the rest of the summer. I don't feel worthy to be a Teacher, because the position of Teachers in the Baha'i Faith is very exalted and their job is so important that it should desirably be reserved for only the most capable members of the community, but I got to learn a lot from having such a responsibility.
Apart from CYP, I got to experience some facilities work: I cleaned a bunch of bathrooms, sprayed some windows, folded some laundry, made some beds. I also got to work in the kitchen for three weeks out of the summer, when there was no children's program. I LOVE THE KITCHEN! It's a cozy kitchen family where they play music all the time. I want to work in the kitchen for Winter School.
The people I served with this summer touched my heart the most. I seriously made the best friends of my life. I'm lucky just to have been in the presence of those beloved youth, and how much more so to stay up late with them at night and go to the beach on days off and sing songs in the staff lounge and roll down the hill and walk by the river and climb the big tree and play soccer on the field and swing on the swingsets and love each other like true brothers and sisters.
This prayer, that Jian and I chose for our children's class to memorize, has really become a part of me as I have learned to be more thankful for everything.
"I testify, O my God, that if I were given a thousand lives by Thee, and offered them up all in Thy path, I would still have failed to repay the least of the gifts which, by Thy grace, Thou hast bestowed upon me."
(Baha'u'llah, Prayers and Meditations)
Thank God. Every day.
Love always, Mona