I am trying to get one last post off before I move to our
lake cabin. Summer at the lake is
the undisputed highlight of our year. We feel so blessed to have this little
spot on earth that offers us more pleasure than any place we have ever lived or
traveled. The days ahead will be filled with strawberry picking, newborn fawns
scampering through our woods, lots of fishing, reading, canoeing, and long hours just sitting by the shore talking and watching the
It’s funny how every person knows there is a certain environment which satisfies their sense of wonder and belonging more than any other. Some people have mountain air in their souls. Others need a farm and wide open spaces. Oceanside living is embedded in others. It is a lake in the deep woods which feeds me. That is where I feel most at peace, most content. I simply love the simplicity and silence of the woods.
I can’t wait to drop my crappie jig off the side of our boat. I can’t wait to give the local library my long summer reading list. I can’t wait to pick our wild raspberries and to see if the blackberry bushes are blooming. I can already smell our first campfire by the water. I can’t wait to lie on our dock at night and look up at, as F. Scott Fitzgerald says, “stars like silver pepper” in the navy blue sky.
In many ways, by this time of year, I have forgotten who I AM in the midst of what I DO. What I DO so often seems to be measuring stick for my identity. But when I get to our little pine cabin in the woods, without the usual demands on my time and without technology and the creature comforts that we all claim make our lives “better,” I meet up again with my real self. I find the parts of my spirit that many times are sacrificed because of "busyness." At the lake, I laugh more, play harder, sing louder. I am softer, looser, more patient.
With no distractions, I seek God in prayer more consistently. I hear Him in the songbirds every morning at 5:00 AM and in the sound of waves as we fall asleep. I find Him in the moon’s reflection on the water and in the big, willowy balsam trees that blanket our woods.
It is not that God is larger at the lake. It is that I am smaller. I am not filled full of “stuff to do.” I have larger spaces in my soul and in my days that are now empty and open to His voice. Be still, and know that I am God, the psalmist tells us. (Psalms 46:10) Be STILL.
We do not take the privilege of summers off for granted. In that regard, teachers are a lucky bunch, and I am grateful beyond words for so many weeks to quiet my life. I hope that no matter how much vacation you are able to take this summer, you will find some chunks of time to still yourself….to simply BE….to jump off the treadmill and slow the pace of your family life. I hope you will reclaim those fragments of your spirit that “the daily grind” seems to beat down, and remind yourself that you are a great deal more than what you DO.