|by Murray Archibald|
Those of us fortunate enough to live in Rehoboth Beachor any other beach, for that matterhave but to walk down to the water's edge to witness the amazing power of the changing tide. Anyone who's ever spent time carefully crafting a sand castle knows all too well that eventually the rising water will erase the day's fun, leaving behind nothing but a smooth canvas of blank sand.
The human experience is sometimes like the beach and the tides. Though it changes constantly and is often fraught with passionate highs and lows, eventually even they are worn down by or filled in with the always present detritus of a busy life.
Even magnificent monuments must face the changing tides of life and nature. To this day, like countless others, I cannot walk through the streets of New York City without experiencing a deep sense of loss when I look at the void that exists where the World Trade towers used to be. I yearn for the day when that painful hole in the skyline is empty no more. For now, though, it is a perfect example of how swiftly something seemingly permanent can disappear from view.
Those who struggle to make big changes in their lives or in the world around them know about the devastating power of forces outside of their control. Be it a natural disaster or the painful loss of a loved oneor a job, or one's healththe changing tide of everyday life is relentless.
So how do we talk about making progress in a world that is always being reshaped by a current tide of politics, powers, money, religions and trends? How do we know our efforts will make any difference at all in the world around us? The answer iswe don't. Time alone will reveal lasting change and real progress. The rest is swept up in the turbulent tides of our lives.
The fascinating story of John Adams, as told in the Pulitzer Prize winning book by David McCullough and adapted by HBO, opened a window into the early history of our country and on the great men and women who built it. As I watched, spellbound, I realized how much we take our history for granted and how little understanding we have of our own lives and the time in which we live. None of us really know what, if any, of our contributions will survive after we are goneor what forces will shape the world of the future.
To us here in Rehoboth Beach, the incoming tide of tolerance and acceptance seems inevitable. But is it? None of us know what circumstances could be present in the world of tomorrowenlightenment, another deadly disease, war, peace? We don't know. We can't know.
In the beginning we made CAMP Rehoboth because we needed a safe place to create understanding and community among all the people who call Rehoboth home. At its core that is what the CAMP Rehoboth Community Center is still about today, making a safe place for all peoplegay, straight, young, old, men and women, visitors and residents alike.
Sometimes I get so involved in the work of CAMP Rehoboth and of building the Community Center that I almost forget why we started it in the first placeor I wonder to myself if we have ever understood all that it could be. A part of me believes with all my heart that it will be here long after we are gone. Another part of me knows how fragile is all life and all human endeavors and how much we need to appreciate all that we have while we have it.
Just imagine if all the places we take for granted as a part of our community got swept away in the changing tide of the timesthe past is already littered with the bones of places where we once danced, once dined, once shopped. Just imagine if there were no CAMP Rehoboth, no Community Center, no place to find help, or information, or a friendly face. We've spent 18 years building CAMP Rehoboth and helping it to grow into the Community Center it has become. I have great faith that the people of this community will rise to fight whatever the current "changing tide" threatens us withbe it the current economic crisis or something entirely new and unforeseen.
Thank You to all the CAMP Rehoboth Community Center Volunteers for the period of May 2-May 15. Tony Burns Spencer Kingswell Charlie Lee Michael Muller Chris Sampson
Rainbow Thumb ClubMatt Carey| Ward Ellinger Rob Freeman Tony Ghigi Steve Hoult Bud Palmer Ken Reilly Tom White
Murray Archibald, Founder and President of the Board of Directors of CAMP Rehoboth, is an artist in Rehoboth Beach.
LETTERS From CAMP Rehoboth, Vol. 18, No. 05 May 16, 2008