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Monday, May 17, 2010

Summer Plans

It's almost summer. Sword has one more week of school. The summer internship starts June first, and we will welcome new people into our lives. In some ways, everything changes during the summer. There are more opportunities, more things to accomplish, but also we find that our comfortable routine is interrupted, and in some ways much less is achieved. Definitely less writing gets done.

Most people's lives are so full of social activity that they hardly get anything accomplished. Yes, they may work at a job that pays their bills, but that job is often not where their heart is. They may meet with friends and socialize after work, but that also is not where their lasting contribution to humanity is made. They may write out a check to their favorite charity, and this may make them feel good, but their personal stamp does not leave its mark there, either. After they die, maybe a headstone is erected or somebody dedicates a park bench in their name. But that, too, is mostly an empty gesture, because what does the name mean, without the person that goes with it?

Internships with Project Bow are a chance for young people to make a real contribution and a lasting connection with someone who is very different from them and also very similar. Interns enrich Bow's life, and that makes me happy, too.

However, it's a lot of work. And a little disruptive. Interns, in theory, free me for more hours during the summer months, but it takes a good three weeks before I can really relax and stop supervising. The first few weeks of an internship are full of tension, as Bow tries every trick in the book to test his new friend. Only after they pass the tests does he let up, and that's when some real benefit can be derived from the volunteers' presence.

The long winter months when Bow and I are alone are a time of reflection, introspection and quiet fellowship. Summer is a time of  more excitement, more breakthroughs, more conflict, and leaving ourselves open to new experiences. Bow is ambivalent about new arrivals, but he always asks eagerly: "When will they get here?

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