Unmasked, a Rainbow is Revealed

by | May 25, 2021 | Blog

Dear Boundless Families:

This sunny Sunday afternoon has seen the glorious northwest wind sweeping the bugs away. Your kids are in the forest right now loving this gusty gift. Their purplish-blue welts and bruises mix well with rosy and healthy cheeks. They are, each in their own stunning way, flesh and blood rainbows.

And they are unmasked, for today is the day they officially become a bubble. What a simple joy it is to see the full grandeur of a face.

Last night I facilitated a culture thing with the group, where we introduced each other to our own unique backgrounds. It was a chance to reveal a few more layers, perfect for a crew that is starting to love each other.

What came out was a mixture of comedy routine and awe.

Lyal (pronounced Lyle) declared midway that he has no culture, believes in nothing grand and goes solely by the credo of happiness.

I am smirking inside. I’ve heard it all before. This is bluster. Perhaps. But I engage him nonetheless.

“Lyal, that sounds like nihilism.”

Kate quickly deadpans, “No, that’s a Lyalism.”  The group explodes with laughter. This may stick. Poor Lyal.

Azaria told us about her legendary grandfather, named Almighty Voice, who set the standard of principled rebellion for his descendants.

Marion remembered the calypso music her dad taught her. Joseph’s ancestors are from Malta. He chuckles, “If you called my name out loud in public, twenty heads would respond thinking it’s them you are calling. My name is so common.” How ironic, for many would agree that Joseph’s stellar character is quite uncommon.

Iraq, Lebanon, Trinidad, Jamaica, Ojibway (and other Cree nations), Ireland, China, Malta – all were represented last night.

It’s quite the rainbow up here, wrapped in a Covid bubble nestled in the Madawaska hills.

They do pay a price. Like sitting in English curriculum for seven straight days while it’s beyond perfect weather outside. It’s so busy they barely have time to scratch their bug bites.

If all this sounds a tad embellished; well, it ain’t. It’s really happening. There will be tears in ten days. Lisa is being besieged with requests to come back in September.

What’s working?

That inexplicable bond that can form so quickly among teens. I think of the Ottawa Valley boys who have glued together in their own open-hearted clique. Kate was let in. The foursome are the pulse of the community. Yet there are other pairs, trios and fifteenos who give new meaning to organic chemistry. Connections have happened all on their own. Effortless.

When you receive this on Tuesday morning, you’ll all be limping back to the grind after a long weekend. Your kids, on the other hand, will be waking up to a steamy river rolling in front of their campfire, readying themselves to run “Rifle Chute” Rapids and the “Can Opener”.

Cue the prayers. They’re going to need them.

Thanks for sending your kids., They are having a blast.


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Steven Gottlieb
Steven Gottlieb