Sunday, May 10, 2015
Sunday Musings 31
Many years ago I attended a summer geology field camp course offered by Stephens College, Columbia, MO. I had just graduated from Stephens with a 2 year degree and was waiting to transfer to Brigham Young University in the fall.
During my second year at school I had changed my major from music to science, and I was contemplating a 4 year degree in geology. I joined the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints in March of that year, hence the upcoming transfer to BYU.
In the seventies Stephens was a small girls school from which most students obtained an Associates degree. Some married; others transferred elsewhere to get a Bachelors degree.
My class was held at the Stephens summer camp in Steamboat Springs, CO. I had never been west before, and I fell in love with Steamboat and the mountains. It was so beautiful, expansive and free. I also enjoyed my coursework. We attended classes in our rustic building and took trips to see and explore other areas with great geological formations. Most of these were parks such as Rocky Mountain National Park and the Tetons. I loved the trips, which usually included some kind of hiking.
The experience was challenging to me emotionally. I was a new member of the LDS church, and the only member in my group. A local family befriended me and made sure I got to my church meetings, but nevertheless, life was sometimes challenging. I was sometimes lonely and depressed.
One of our trips was to a small extinct volcano in Colorado. There was no place nearby to camp, so we slept in sleeping bags on the floor of a local young family's home (we were a small group of 10-12 people). It was uncomfortable, and I remember not being very happy.
The second day the owner loaded us up in the back of his truck and drove us to the base of the volcano to go exploring. As we got close to the truck, to leave or as we got off--I don't remember which-- one of the owner's little boys, age 4, came up to me and handed me a bouquet of flowers he had just picked. I have no idea why he did this; I had not spoken to him. He didn't give anyone else any flowers--just me. I was quite touched. I remember how special this made me feel, and that it was comforting. I have remembered this incident all the years since then.
Something jogged my memory about it this morning, and I'm reminded of what is referred to as tender mercies of the Lord. That little bouquet was one of them. I think of these as little, very personal events in our lives that remind us that God knows, loves, and is aware of each of us always. Here is a link to some info about tender mercies. Enjoy the hunt!
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