I never thought to appreciate the peace and quiet of an empty cottage - that is, until three adults, two dogs, and one nine-year-old arrived in Michigan this weekend. Though the atmosphere is much lighter and happier with them there, it’s also full of distractions, so I’ve found myself bouncing around to various places in the CSA for a quiet place to work and have time to myself.

There are so many beautiful places here that I’ve taken for granted; Pilgrim Place, of course, but also hidden gems among the paths behind the Assembly Building, the area down by Lake Michigan… even the South Room of the Meeting House is a peaceful place with a beautiful view of the tennis courts. Discovering these spots has motivated me to take more time to explore the places I’ve never looked too hard at the next time I’m free. Technology is important these days, but the charm of the CSA has always been the untouched pockets of nature and beauty, and experiencing it always feels so special.

Despite how we come here to get away, the pandemic has made technology more essential for communication than ever, and I’m still working to find the right balance. Doing things like streaming church services and chasing people around for pictures is tough work, but the thought that I’ve helped even one person feel more connected to the community is motivation enough. It’s crazy to think that I’ve made it through half of the summer already… and I’m looking forward to the other half!