Now entering my fourth year at SUUSI, I think I have a general sense of the pattern of my days, which are busy but so fulfilling. I start around 7am, with breakfast in the dining hall. I’m usually joined by a familiar group of friends. We may not see each other the entire rest of the day, but that morning check-in feels grounding and important.
And then for me, it’s off to Bardo to prepare for the morning worship! Sometimes I have to rehearse with musicians, sometimes I have to finish a PowerPoint so everyone has the right lyrics to sing, sometimes it’s arranging chairs. At least once, I had to bring the outside in—a big pile of branches that became a tree. By 9am, we’re lighting the chalice and one of our amazing nurturers offers an inspiring and exciting worship experience.
Then it’s off to Pair-a-Dice, where I take off my worship hat and put on my gamer hat. I love spending time there. It’s amazing to see groups gather around a game— people of all ages, all skill levels, and often strangers to begin with. Soon friendships are made; in fact, some of my best SUUSI friendships have been made around a game. And if you get the right combination of people, you might spend the entire game of Photosynthesis making bad puns about trees and the sun.
But even this extrovert needs some down time, so I try to find an hour to stare at the mountains. Now I should be clear: I often look like I am going to read when I do this. But somehow the book never gets opened—my eyes get transfixed on the beauty of the Smokeys and my soul drinks in the pause in my day.
At some point, I get interested in what is happening in SUUSI again, and I trot down to Community Time to watch people playing, laughing, and talking. Sometimes I get caught up in conversation, and sometimes I just watch in awe of our community.
Then it’s an early dinner, and back to Bardo for evening worship prep! Not surprisingly, after evening worship, I’m back at Pair-a-Dice for more games. And then, despite my love of music and our amazing musicians, I’m ready to crash by 10pm, calling it a day, thanking all that is holy for this magical place we call SUUSI.