Hunter and the Psychedelic Camel

I was staying at someone else’s home for a short visit, recently. The small concession for doing so was that I had to share a bathroom with the family’s boys—always an interesting experience to say the least.

On the wall of this particular bathroom was, what appeared to be, a page from someone’s coloring book. It was extremely well done (colored within the lines and all that), and it had been framed. It was located to the immediate left of the vanity top, so I saw it every morning when I stopped in to brush my teeth (among other things). It was signed, “Hunter, 2014.”

I found it to be a fascinating piece. Each morning, I would dedicate an extra few seconds to admire the thoughtfulness and artistry which had gone into the coloration of this masterpiece. The camel, you see, was not your ordinary, sandy-colored ship of the desert. This humpbacked wonder seemed to arise out of the sixties with its variations of reds, oranges, pinks, and blues. I became very attached (child of the sixties that I am).

Too Good for the Fridge

I had briefly known young Hunter who had been a foster child living with the family in question. He has since moved on, but at least part of his legacy has remained—albeit in the boy’s bathroom. Artwork such as this often gets posted on a refrigerator then discarded in lieu of the next generation of creativity. This one had been spared such a fate and had become a daily diversion for a week of my life.

One of the reasons I found it so intriguing, I suppose, is the fact that I had a couple of occasions to take a camel ride when I was in Israel several years ago. Taking a camel ride was one of my goals prior to heading to the middle east. I accomplished that goal to my satisfaction. Cross that one off my bucket list.

One of those camel rides was up the side of Mount Sinai. It was an experience I’ll never forget. And while it wasn’t as spectacular as Hunter’s psychedelic camel, it got me to where I was headed (saddle sores and all). I decided to walk back down after viewing the world from on high. I don’t think my derrière could have handled another humpbacked sojourn that soon.

“It was good enough for Moses”

But, thanks to my camel (which I named “Harley”), I stood in the approximate place where Moses received the ten commandments. We’re not totally sure of that location, but I was convinced enough to leave the dust on my sneakers for a long time. I was hoping it would give me a little extra something. As they say, “If it was good enough for Moses…”

While atop Mount Sinai, I didn’t receive any big revelations, but I do have a nifty photo of me which is displayed in our front room. Between that and Hunter’s psychedelic camel, I have some solid reminders of one of the best trips of my life.

[Dave Zuchelli is a graduate of Pittsburgh Theological Seminary and currently resides in Aldie, VA.]

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