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Neighbor Stories: South Dakota 2016 (Concluding Thoughts in Verse)

How do you sum-up a moment in time? What words do you use to capture your thoughts, your feelings, your emotions. Not an easy task.

In South Dakota this summer we used haiku as a means to this end.

Initially, the idea of challenging Team members to write haiku each day to encapsulate their experiences was really a bit of a lark; a chance to do something fun to distinguish our week together from the rest of our lives.

As the week went on, however, it became clear that haiku had become its own special language among the members of the Team. It became the means by which we chronicled our experiences, shared our feelings, poked fun at each other and relished our growing bond.

While I cannot invite each of you into the experience and camaraderie we all shared, I can give you a peek into each in the form of a selection of the haiku we wrote and shared during our week in South Dakota.

I debated trying to provide a bit of a backstory for each haiku, but I realized that like all poetry the meaning of haiku is best left to the reader.

I also debated listing the author for each haiku, but, like Las Vegas, what happens in South Dakota stays in South Dakota.

Finally, I included a few final pictures to help capture the quirky spirit of this amazing Team and our week together at Cheyenne River Youth Project in Eagle Butte, South Dakota.

Must scribe a haiku

Such a daunting task reeks poohpooh

Sure hope this will do

(A haiku of protest)

Coffee Coffeeee

Coffee Coffee coffeeee

Coffee Coffeeee

(A traditional morning haiku)

People hard at work

People working in the sun

Better finish quick

Paint is on our arms

The paint is all in our hair

Paint is everywhere

Fifty children here

Shaving cream painted faces

God memories made

Ravens watch others

Others wondered why they watch

Ravens never said

So many pictures

Pictures of smiling faces

How to store them all

A few concluding thoughts about the week from the Team on its drive back home.

On the road back home

Reminiscing on our week

Memories so dear

Beautiful faces

Smiling, laughing, lots of fun

See you again soon

Great new memories

Help to pass the long drive home

Thanks to all of you

In closing, the South Dakota Family Mission Trip is a once in a lifetime experience that repeats itself each summer. The 2016 Trip was no exception having brought together a group of diverse people and forged among them a bond unlike any other.

God's Blessings from the South Dakota Family Mission Team

(Mic Drop)

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