Sunday, July 31, 2011

Bass Lake

Bass Lake Triathlon 2011

BASS LAKE

For fifty years our family has met every year at Bass Lake for a family reunion…there are now close to 150 people that come every year – we camp in tents all together in a huge campsite next to the lake. There is magic everywhere…a missionary fireside where returning and outgoing missionaries report…a devotional every night…talent night…family dance night….game night…song night….a family triathlon….trips up the falls and to Yosemite…. “noodlesizing” for all the aunts….diving off cliffs….every kind of boating craziness imaginable….


...but all of that is nothing compared to the real magic….it underlies it all and has great hidden powers….what happens to the cousins, as you watch them together…..that is where it is…..they bond in every way imaginable….during all their antics…but all through the week, they talk….around the campfire when most people are in bed…on Sunday…when no one is allowed to do any water play…we all go to the local church together…then lay around on blankets all day – just talking….reading scriptures… having a special Sabbath fireside with hymns and



devotionals…..the cousins all squish together in a big mass across the sleeping bags where they all sleep together near the lake….and they each become empowered as they share together all that they are… and testimonies are naturally borne in so many undetectable ways…. The cousins know all about what happens….because they have seen what it has done over the years for them…they call it “Cousin Power” …and they talk about needing to get to Bass Lake to get the cousin power back in their life…they all go away fortified from the examples and strengths that they each have….because there are so many and they are all strong in some ways and weaker in others….the sharing makes it so they go away strong and healthy spiritually, ready to take on the new year…. And they never want to disappoint each other… they call each other on anything they think needs correcting…modesty…speech….ideas…. and it all seems to get figured out by the time they are finished with each other at the end of the week…it is like this flow of endless love swarming them the whole time they are together…and my very favorite thing about the whole experience is when I look over at the huge spread of cousins in sleeping bags, all squished together at night….and I see all these little tiny lights all throughout the area they are settled in for the night….they each have a flashlight on and they are reading their scriptures before they go to bed… imagine the effect of all those young people…watching each other do this….even my youngest, when he was two, was thrown in with the group…all ages are there….all those lights…..it makes my heart sing..and in the morning they are tromping all over their books and lights and it is all big mess.. but just seeing all those Book of Mormons getting “camped on” makes me so happy…..




I once came into my camping area really late at night after everyone was asleep – even the cousins…and there was one of my nephews, at my table, reading his scriptures….so beautiful…..and I noticed this one nephew…would always wait until everyone would leave the campfire….and then he would stay with this one cousin who needed help spiritually – it seemed like everyone, one by one, just went to bed and they just happened to be the only ones left..but I knew what this nephew was doing…. And I told him that I noticed…. And he told me of his concern for her…. things like this…. Part of that underground magic….I don’t believe any other type of reunion can accomplish what camping all together does…not even in separate campsites…can accomplish this …if you have hotel rooms – you separate and come together here and there…. And when you are camping….and it has to be in tents…what happens is-- no one wants to stay in a tent all day…so everyone is out all the time…and so you are together all the time…wandering between each others lives…constantly….it is so beautiful….I am so grateful for this tradition and for what “Cousin Power” has done for my children….I know we don’t always like to deal with statistics when we talk about the power of love and tradition….but out of the 39 grandchildren that my parents have….every young man and most of the young women served missions… all that are married have married in the temple…. all have stayed true to the Lord…..in my Mother’s patriarchal blessing it said that the work she would do on the earth for her posterity would be monumental….I see her 39 grandchildren as that monument….and I know Cousin Power helped create that monument.



3 comments:

Katherine said...

heaven on earth...

Bryan said...

Karen! I love it! This is such a piece of goodness I can hardly stand it. I love you so much and I love this post.

Denise said...

Wow we are so lucky to have people in our lives that make Bass Lake so wonderful! Thanks for documenting it so beautifully!