Tears And Laughter

We've just finished YF Camp. It was an amazing experience for me, and the biggest camp since I'm not sure when.I wasn't aware of the camp having a predefined theme. I think there was one but it was never mentioned explicitly. A theme did though emerge for me during the time I was there. It was "tears and laughter" It comes from a song that Leith sang on stage at the World gathering of young Friends in England last year. It goes:

Kind Friends all gather round, there's something I would say,
What brings us here together, has blessed us all today,
Love can make a circle, that holds us all inside,
Where strangers are as family, and loneliness can’t hide,
So give yourself to love, if love is what you’re after,
Open up your heart to the tears and laughter,
and give yourself to love, give yourself to love”

On Sunday during the camp we went to Meeting in Palmerston North. YFs swelled the normal attendance by about 300%. Early in Meeting Freda, a Palmerston North Friend read from Advices & Queries.

It was a passage on accepting other cultures. It got me thinking about the risks we take by inviting people into our county, our towns, our homes and our hearts. People we invite in might be noisy or hurt us or change our way of life for the worse. Or they might inspire us, show us new wonders, take us to new heights. It seems to me that we have to take the risk of being hurt in order to grow. It may even be that we have to be hurt sometimes in order to truly grow, we have to have our souls carved out by pain to expand the space we have for love. We have to accept the tears to get the laughter.

The camp felt like this for me. There were lots of risks taken and much at stake. it was the first time that I've felt the full age range truly come together as a group. There was a big risk this wasn't going to happen, and many of us older YFs had taken a risk coming, a risk that we would feel out of place, that our presence wouldn't be accepted.

There were many emotional risks taken by all as relationships developed. These were not without tears as boundaries were negotiated and love of all kinds was offered and accepted or not as the case maybe.

Opening my heart and my life to this group was a huge risk. It is one of the best things I have ever done. The tears, laughter and joy I have experienced have enriched my life, and given me a strong sense of place and purpose in the world, and within the wider community of Friends. So go on, give yourself to love.

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One Response to “Tears And Laughter”

  1. Pensieve » Blog Archive » Going unconditional Says:

    […] Maybe this makes sense. It might be dangerous to love everyone unconditionally.  It could be a big risk.  They might hurt us.  Maybe we do need to filter the bad people out to protect ourselves. […]

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