We were able to spend some time together as a family at Red Rock Bible Camp this last weekend, and it was just beautiful.
It’s always bittersweet to go back – we love it there so much, and it’s fun to see Anika visiting all her favorite spots, telling Kaylia all the stories of things she was too young to remember. It would have been amazing to see Kaylia and Everett growing up there, too, and yet we know we left at the right time. We love our life the way it is, and feel so blessed, but there’s just something about camp!
This was the first trail we walked on after moving out there when Anika was three years old, and I’ll never forget the sight of her little fingers stretched out over a pile of deer droppings, calling out excitedly, “Look, Mommy – grapes!!”
Oh, the treasures you find in the forest….
We were going to go the playground yesterday afternoon.
We were trying to decide which park to walk to, when suddenly, Ben and I had a “Genius Parent Moment”, and told the girls we were going to the river.
Anika was not impressed.
Deep down, I was pretty sure she’d be fine. I have seen, over and over again, what happens to our girls when they get out into nature. Playgrounds are fun and all, but there is something completely different and wonderful about wandering around in the trees and crunching through the leaves.
So instead of the playground, we set off on a little adventure.
It didn’t take very long for Anika’s attitude to change.
You can’t be in a place like that without starting to feel the wonder and magic of it.
We explored and crunched and climbed trees and gathered sticks for a special little project this week.
On the way home, Anika said, “I had a lot more fun than I thought I would.”
We will go to the playground some other time.
But I always, always want to remember to get away on adventures. When we moved away from camp, I thought afternoons like this would be over. I was worried about our family losing the delight of wandering through the trees.
I’m not worried anymore.
Oh my goodness – have all these sunsets seriously been happening here for five years, and I’ve missed them all?? It was lovely being in the middle of the forest, but it was so hard to see the setting sun.
And it turns out I’m still a prairie girl at heart. Something happens inside of me when I’m surrounded by big, open spaces. Add a sunset to that wide open space, and I’m set.
I could not count how many thousands of sunsets I’ve walked into with my mom, or biked into with my dad. I grew up in the country, and on those warm summer evenings, we would always head west. We’d walk or bike until the colors had all faded, and then we’d reluctantly turn around and head home.
I miss the lake, but seeing the sunset from our living room window is definitely helping to ease the pain.
I’m sure there’s a limit as to how many sunset pictures I can take, but I find it fascinating how they’re always changing, always unique.
Also? Clouds make a sunset more beautiful. Life is perhaps the same way?