Sunday, June 24, 2012

surprise, I'm still alive.

Dear friends who stumble upon this blog,

Hello! The days are quickly slipping by and being on the computer has fallen quite low on my "list of things I enjoy doing." Even now, the sunshine is knocking on the windows and I can barely stand to sit here for very long - but for those faithful few who still check this and wonder, I thought I would give you a really quick update.

Since I last wrote, spring semester came to a rapid close and I quickly found myself in the Adirondacks.  If I'm honest, I was a little worried that after living in the Sierra Nevadas in September I would be too spoiled to enjoy the hidden beauty of the Adirondacks. But behold! I was wrong! This place is magnificent and magical in its own way and I am rapidly falling in love with it. It is growing on me, if you will.

I am working at La Vida, a program run by Gordon that focuses on wilderness discipleship. Over the course of the next month-ish I will lead three different wilderness expeditions. I led my first one in May and it was a wonderful, yet somewhat chaotic and crazy, learning experience. The trips consist of rock climbing, high and low ropes course activities, backpacking or canoeing, an 8.6 mile run, and lots of other little surprises along the way. To put it simply, this job is a dream. It is a lot of work, really exhausting and demanding - but simultaneously fulfilling and life-giving. Hurray!

In between trips the staff lives at base camp, a charming plot of land adorned with little red cabins, swings, picnic tables, a garden! a lake, etc. The cell reception is awful and the internet is isolated in one place - glorious. We take weekly trips into town to do laundry; laundromats continue to be places of wonder to me. I am working here with about 25 others depending on the week (many people come up and help out just for a few weeks or days at a time.) and they are gems. It is a little overwhelming diving into a whole new community again but it is also good. I have so much to learn from the world and those who I share it with.

Speaking of learning, I am doing a lot of that - yet struggling to come up with words to describe the lessons that season each day. The people I am living with are teaching me much about savoring the world and each moment that makes up a day. I may have thought I was good at this before, but I am surrounded by people who are observant professionals- they appreciate the world with such gusto and I am trying to learn from them. They notice things like snails along the trail and inch worms that look like sticks. They appreciate weather and refuse to call any kind of weather "bad." (Rather, it is seen as an experience, a gift to be a part of. I realized the other day how silly it is to complain about the rain... how horribly selfish it is of me to complain that the world is working as it should! My goodness. Ruth told me that simply changing your posture helps your mood when it's raining, and I'm determined to try it.) I'm learning, still learning about community and what it means to be a part of it- what a gift it is to be a part of it...both my mind and heart are so full.

I love the sky here - I am surprised I have not tripped more seeing how much of my time I spend looking up. I love the birds, and I am trying to learn their songs so that I can identify them. I love the stars. I love the swings, the hammock, the chilly evenings and sunny afternoons...I love running on roads that are empty. I love not having a television. I love letter writing.

But. I do not love being on this computer and I have lots of other things to fill these free hours with so that is all I have for now. On Thursday I begin leading another backpacking trip on one of my favorite itineraries. Hurray!

Here's to the wonder that is today.