Tuesday, August 17, 2010

A Girl and the Island of Joy

This past weekend we delivered our little girl to her Island of Joy. That's what the Indian translation means. I like that. This all girls Christian camp is located on an absolutely gorgeous island in the middle of a huge lake surrounded by mountains. And so Rachel is officially at camp for the next week. Did you notice I didn't say we "dumped" her?

Rachel created this as a surprise she meant for us to find when we returned home to an empty house. But it got the best of her and she decided to present it to us instead. How do you like the new hair? I think it's just adorable!

We arrived at camp after driving for almost ten hours. It was raining and about 62 degrees. Notice the smile never disappears from her face.

This is the ferry coming to pick us up at the beach. The island is in the background. Yes, it is pouring rain!

This is home for the next week. Did you notice there are walls? And there's a real floor too. This made Mama very happy. So far, no tears. And yes, there was a love letter tucked inside the pocket of the quilt I made for her. See the beach towel? That's because she's headed out to the lake to take her swimming test...in the rain and cool 62 degree weather. Actually, we found out it's the first significant rain they've had all summer. So the lake water was very pleasant for swimming. This week's forecast is sunny and 80. Perfect for sailing and wake-boarding and water skiing and hiking and rock climbing and sleeping on the beach under the stars for one night.

This is the goodbye shot I took after I hugged her and told her I loved her three times. How do I know? Because with a huge smile on her face she said, "Mama, you've hugged me and told me that you love me three times already!" I guess that was my queue to go. So far, no tears. See her face? She's still happy!

This is the picture I took while standing on the dock waiting for the ferry to come and pick us up. I forgot to mention that when we arrived at the island, a crowd of girls had gathered at the shore and welcomed us with the island's theme song!

This picture was taken while standing on the dock, looking out over the lake to the closest shore where beautiful private homes are built. I can certainly understand why someone would want to live here. It's peaceful and beautiful and certainly fills hearts with joy.

Though a little soggy, we made it back to our hotel (the one without any amenities) and I was so proud of myself. I didn't shed a single tear! I was so happy because I knew she was happy and very comfortable. And because her cabin had walls and a floor. I have come to realize this is a huge factor for me.

The next day we drove all the way back home to find Jesse puppy anxiously awaiting our return. I was just fine until about 10 o'clock last night when I took a walk outside. Everything was quiet except the gentle hum of a thousand crickets. Then I looked up at the crystal clear sky and saw all our familiar stars. I can always find them in the very same spot. They never move. They are the same ones we watched a few nights ago as we lay on the driveway at 3 o'clock in the morning during the Perseid meteor shower. Rachel saw her very first shooting stars. It was a thrill for me to hear her excitement as she watched them shoot across the sky. As I stood there looking at my friend, the Big Dipper, it was then I realized both of my children were almost 600 miles away from home. And the tears came.

It's hard letting go. But it's necessary and it's good.

P.S. Every good and perfect gift is from above, coming down from the Father of the heavenly lights, who does not change like shifting shadows. James 1:17

1 comment:

  1. I absolutely LOVE that smile on her face! (And I love the new do!) So glad she was happy and you were happy! XOXOX