On Fire

The trees and the sky were on fire. It was our first morning at Camp Calumet in Freedom, New Hampshire and the views from the shore of Ossipee Lake couldn't be more spectacular. Siting on the beach, serenity warmed me in the cold October morning air. Children expressed their eagerness to go to breakfast as I found it increasingly difficult to pry myself away from the beauty God was blessing us all with that morning.

It was a weekend full of fun, good food, pumpkin carving, apple cider making, crafting, playing games, hiking, and all the other usual activities. We met great people and reconnected with friends from prior years. 

The lake holds my fondest memories of the trip. As the long weekend wore on, the trees were increasingly ablaze with color. Just the sight alone captivated me. I had some wonderful conversations with my children on the beach and was blessed to really connect with my oldest child, which isn't always easy. 

The pontoon boat ride sparked great conversations and inspiring views, even if my ten year old companion huddled under my sweatshirt the entire time to avoid wind in his face. 

One last beach sunset greeted us in blues and pinks as we eagerly awaited the closing campfire. Just to sit in the stillness of the evening, awash in sky blue pink, was worth the entire trip. 

Sounds of small waves lapping the shore soon gave way to songs and stories. The fire danced as children and families performed skits. We shared faith and fellowship, God's light shining through us as the campfire reflected on our faces.

Perhaps the most precious of memories dawned early on our last morning when three of my children and I ventured to the beach, one still in her footie pajamas (and flip-flops!) shortly after six o'clock. The misty mirror lake invited us to venture out in kayaks for an early morning paddle. After quiet conversation, laughter, and quite a few comments about how cold but beautiful it was, we fell into a few moments of silence. 

My thoughts drifted among the accumulated memories from the weekend, some good, some no so much. My frustrations over the effects of my body's limitations on my expectations for the weekend floated away, and love and laughter are what bubbled to the surface of my mind as we paddled back toward shore. 

As our final morning came to an end, my soul was on fire with renewed zest for life, balanced with a deeper sense of peace within myself. As the weather gets colder and life presents more challenges, the memories held within this trip will inspire and comfort me. 


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