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Archives YCV: Heaven's Reflection

October 24, 2012

By Tracy Leonard
Contributing Writer

As the temperature begins to drop, the days begin to shorten and the tree line fades to shades of green, orange, red and yellow, I cannot help but contemplate the idea of inevitable change in our everyday lives.
I recently reflected on this idea during Columbus Day weekend as I sat to write this article on the shores of lower Saranac Lake during free time at Guggenheim Family Camp.

It all began as we drove down the camp road. My parents and I chuckled as we reminisced about the previous years when we took the trip from Watertown to Saranac to register my four sisters and me for another exciting week at teen camp.

Not too many years later, my sister Lisa and I were anxiously arriving at Forest Home Road as camp counselors, and this weekend, we arrived back home at sacred Guggenheim with three generations of the Leonard clan (me, my parents, Lisa, her husband, and their four kids).

Certainly, times have changed! From campers to counselors to an extended family, we’ve been highly motivated or inspired by changes through the years. This change has sometimes been hard to initiate and other times it has been hard when it’s been thrust upon us. We are creatures of comfort and every change has required some level of physical, mental or psychological transformation.

Through the years, from camper, to counselor, to family, we’ve experienced athletic and academic successes or challenges. We’ve gathered for elementary, high school or college graduations. Our parents have provided support and guidance through the dating years and even breakups. We’ve accepted new jobs, honored the joining of families through marriage, rejoiced at the birth of a new child, celebrated sacraments, bought new homes, experienced the relocation of a sister to Texas, shared holidays, battled diseases and illnesses, and sadly, even mourned the loss of loved ones. Tears have been shed and laughter shared. Just like the colder weather of fall, the shorter days and the colorful shades of leaves, these experiences have transformed our lives through times of personal growth and development. We’ve had times of trial and despair or times of success, hope and accomplishment; each revealing something unique about us as individuals in a larger family… the Leonard family and the family we call church.

This weekend at Guggenheim has reminded me of something very important - the one thing that has remained consistent through all these changes has been God and the importance of family. Although everything else in the universe appears to undergo change, God does not. He is the unchanging eternal one. This strong faith has provided each member of our family a solid foundation which has given us trust, love, support and fortitude.
Our family, with the help of God’s grace and this special weekend in the beauty of the Adirondacks has been heaven’s reflection.

Our experience at Guggenheim strengthened us, helped us to gain insight from other families we met and allowed us to share the love of our family with others. Graciously, we continue to accept and foster the seeds of change that our planted in our home and hearts.

So, this fall, while experiencing all the surrounding changes, I encourage you to look within, and reflect on how the unchanging God is working in your life.

Tracy Leonard, left, is shown with members of her family, including her parents Charlie and Diane Leonard of Watertown, and her sister Lisa; Lisa’s husband and their four children during the Columbus Day Family Guggenheim weekend.

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