At 6:06 a.m. on August 11, five weary vagabonds drive down the road leading out of Ontario Pioneer Camp, where we’ve spent almost eight weeks. Our hearts and minds are full of camp memories and our spirits are poured out as a drink offering. We mourn and we rejoice. There’s a grieving and aching, but also a flicker of excitement. We pray and thank the Giver of good gifts for our breathtaking summer of firelight and Spirit wind and healing rain and lake water and grilled cheese and dance parties. In the heaviness of the rainy dawn, we can scarcely allow our minds to wander back to good-byes to family and friends from home. We ask for His protection as we travel and His provision for this faith adventure.
The silence is full of our own reflections and sometimes we speak up, mentioning a name or bits of a conversation. Someone asks for music. Do we listen to camp songs or Bethel music? We opt for camp songs. We’re not quite ready to move on to new melodies yet.
We upload photos and browse through the faces that will be setting tables, cleaning chalets, saying goodbye to campers and preparing for a day off. It’s hard to offer them up and not see the full fruit of our prayers but as with everything and everyone else recently, we pry open our fists and let go.
Several Tim Horton’s stops later, we’re in Sarnia, doing some last-minute banking and preparing to cross over to the U.S. The mundane realities of stubbed toes and bathroom trips and currency exchange and border line-ups and paperwork bleed into our dreamy, mournful state. When we finally finish errands and lunch and begin to cross over, we look down at the expanse of water flowing beneath us, dividing the slabs of land. We are in limbo, suspended between two worlds: Canada and the US, Muskoka and California, old and new, camp and Bethel, family and strangers, grief and joy, heaven and earth.