all my stuff for the next week. neatly organized on my chair (ok. sofa.) but it works.
whew. i’m tired. and ready for a long week by the water.
let me explain. tomorrow morning i’m leaving for 7 days in the swedish archipelago (= group of islands) on the east coast. it’s gonna be half vacation/half work, but i’m still really looking forward to it. so, the feel will be like a vacation, with the down times, relaxation, and opportunity to be in nature. but, i am technically working. you see, it’s a family camp week… something that’s been going on for… well, i don’t know how many years. at least 30ish. anyway, the camp is owned by the (former) methodist church in sweden, and the congregation where i work rents the camp area for a week. our week starts tomorrow.
now, let me further explain what i mean by “camp”. we are not camping in tents in the middle of the forest. by camp, i mean a beautiful green area with fields and woods by the lake-ish/sea, on an island surrounded by other islands. it’s a space with a big house, a dining hall (with 2ish sleeping rooms on the 2nd floor – one of which will be mine for the week), a little wooden chapel, a few tiny cabins, and a field for camping with tents or campers. of course there is a campfire area, a dock, rocks to hang out on by the water, and canoes to use by a little boathouse. the purpose of the camp? to be together. to relax. to enjoy nature. so, i don’t have some crazy, busy schedule to follow (like i did with the youth camp a few weeks ago). however, i am responsible (with the other pastor/minister i work with) for 3 services – times to connect with the divine, and 3 hours for discussion & meditation. one hour of something per day. other than that, it’s just about being in relationship with people. laughing, talking, eating, and resting. in addition to the relationship building and nature-loving that i’m gonna be doing, hopefully i will find a little bit of time to really write & reflect some on the past few months of my life.
one thing i won’t be doing is updating my blog. at least i’m not counting on it. i will be taking tons of pictures… you know me. and if i happen to have service at some point (seriously, i’ll be in the middle of nowhere, by the sea), perhaps i will post something. but, my main focus is just being. recharging. and moving into my summer vacation… which starts officially the minute that i arrive home. three weeks of pains vacation. oh yeah. and then i still have 5 weeks to use later on in the year. that’s right, you read it correctly. i have 8 weeks total of paid vacation! i love you, sweden.
gaaah. it’s late. and i’m tired, having worked hard to get laundry done today (i’m cursed. but that’s another story for another day), shopped for food for 60-65 people for one entire week (it took 8 of us), packed, organized, and cleaned. i still have a few last minute things to take care of, but they’re gonna wait until the morning… my eyes are really heavy right now, so i think it’s time to brush my teeth and lay my head on my pillow.
can’t believe i’m gonna spend a week out in nature. living the camp life. singing camp songs. doing some light hiking/walking. making s’mores (oh yeah. this american girl is bringing the tradition to sweden!). besides, it’s not camp without s’mores. if you don’t know what that is, i’ll explain later. but mostly, i’m looking forward to just being me… and being inspired by the beauty of sweden.
some of the most important & powerful moments of my life have all taken place outside in the midst of nature. yes, i am a hippie. tree-hugging chick. but i feel the heartbeat of life, the rhythm of life, the presence of something greater than ourselves, and yet something so personal & spiritual when i am in the midst of trees, or gazing out over water, or pondering the distance & beauty of the stars.
yeah. i’m ready for a retreat for my soul.
wishing you a great weekend, dear readers. summertime peace.