Spiritual Lessons I Learned on Vacation: Camp Runamok

On the beach I ask Lisa, "What do you think of, with the sound of aspen leaves in the breeze?"

"Hmmmm," she closes her eyes. "Palm leaves," she says.

"The sound of souls coming and going," I say, because I can say this sort of thing to her, and she doesn't bat an eye.

With the older kids having returned from their swim, I'm coerced into swimming to the buoy with Lisa and her younger daughter. I swim hard to keep warm, and when I get close to the buoy, I look back.

A bald eagle soars in the sky, aspen leaves twinkle in the sunlight. I hear the chirpy voices of the kids playing on the stony beach. The sky is blue, the sun is bright on the water, bright on the faces of those I love so much it makes me ache more than this cold water.

Death must be like this, I think, leaving the technicolor familiar to swim to another shore. I bet it feels wistful, with the pull love has on us, wistful to swim away, for that other shore. I have watched many die, have watched great deaths where the business of life was finished, the lessons learned, and the loved ones ready to go.

As I wait for Lisa and Kristen to reach the buoy with me, I ask God to remind me of this day, so I don't forget it. The preciousness of this life, the pricelessness of these people! When I die, I pray I can dive into the waters that await me. I pray I can look back upon the rocky beach of my life with such thankfulness, that I let go of all that made my life both beautiful and hard, and swim with purpose toward the One who gave me such gifts, toward the One I long to see.

8/3/2011 4:00:00 AM
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