The Zen of Maintenance

In life there are things that bring you peace, joy, and happiness.  To me that comes from working with my hands and heavy machinery.  To wake up and smell the crisp air, to feel the cool breeze of a hot day, to that sweet nectar that is a refreshing ice cold sweet tea at the end of the day, ah there is nothing like it in the world.  Working in the field of manual labor is often a hard and unappreciated career, but knowing that what you do directly effects the people around you is what makes the hard work worth everything.  Waking up at night to go fix something that is broken on camp whether it is a demonic toilet that is running non stop, to electrical issues, at the end of the day you know everything you do is worth it!  Now, mowing grass is another story.  My sanctuary is behind the wheel of a tractor or mower with headphones in listening to music as I make beautiful art in yards.  Looking back at the end of the day you can see the results of hard work, sweat, and smelling that heavenly sent of fresh cut grass.  There is nothing in the world that compares.


In the past month, my role in operations has dramatically changed with the beginning of camp.  At first thinking about nasty kids running around, being obnoxious had me shuddering.  Oh those kids, how was I going to find my serenity in the midst of such chaos.  Well before I knew it camp had begun and just as I had imagined there were kids EVERYWHERE! They loved running around screaming, and getting in the way of the work I needed to do.  The calls of maintenance issues rose and rose with no end in sight, the time of working five days a week has now turned into at least six if not seven days a week.  Well my only sanctuary from the craziness was knowing that the tractor was sitting there just waiting for me to sit down and turn it on. Hearing the roar of the diesel engine starting up and feeling the whole tractor shake with happiness as I drove us to the canvas of grass we were about to paint a beautiful master piece with the lines of the blades and deck.


Well at the beginning of camp something happened to me that i didn’t expect; I felt a sense of joy and happiness come over my being as I saw the kids running around and playing.  It brought me back to when I was their age, going to camp, not knowing what we had in store for that day but loving the mystery.  Watching the councilors and leadership staff light up as they got their kids ready for the week ahead was so life giving.  It gave me a sense that maybe this camp thing wasn’t as bad as I had imagined in my hellish nightmares about kids running around in uncontrolled chaos.  As much as I enjoy worshiping, eating, and doing energizers with these great kids, I still need my time alone on a tractor to recoup after a long week.  No matter how much fun I am having during the week I will still need my zen time behind a wheel.


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