one of the highlights of the week of camp for me were the nightly campfires. every day i would get exhausted and tell myself that i was going to head to bed early, and yet every night i would find my way down to a neighbors cabin for a chill fire always lasting well into the night.

each night wine flowed almost as plentifully as it had when i was in greece, and it was always accompanied by some delicious cheese and some fantastic conversation. we discussed everything from me falling asleep during a meditation class to the latin names of trees to awkward moments making jewelry when kids would call out for “more blue balls!”

those simple moments sitting around munching on expensive cheese and drinking wine out of a dixie cup were so damn beautiful and carefree. the love and acceptance and freedom to say whatever was on your mind is something that doesn’t happen often in our society, and i’m so thankful to have a church environment that is conducive to experiences like that.

every night there were new faces around the fire and they all showed genuine interest in getting to know everyone else around them on a deeper and personal level. i feel like this is something that often makes people nervous in daily life because so often we leave things at a surface level, never bothering to go deeper. seriously, one night i was chatting with someone and within five minutes they were asking me about my life passions and what caused me to want to go to seminary and where i was feeling led to attend.

and the stars! because the campfire was really the only light the stars shone brighter than i’ve seen in quite some time. as a conversation topic would come to a close we would all look up and just gaze at the sky, reminded that we’re part of something much larger than ourselves.

it all may sound corny, but those nights by the fire were filled with so much raw energy and love and we were all nurtured and changed by it. i feel so blessed to have been able to share in those experiences with those around me. i may have been tired the next morning, but it was all well worth it.