Caren Ware's Blog

July 10, 2012

The plunge

This time I took the most indirect route to Jackson, Wyoming, spontaneously and purposely. I headed out of Los Angeles over the Grapevine, dumping into the San Joaquin Valley.  The outside temperature was a searing 108 degrees. Baking Bakersfield and Fresno went by on Hwy 99.  Onto Hwy 40 and after Oakhurst, I pulled off and up through the pines and headed to Bass Lake, California.  I rolled down the windows and there was that spicy, sweet smell of this area’s particular pines.  The lake came in view and the inviting sounds of jet skis and boats cracked a smile in my heart I hoped it could.  Bass lake had been a great stomping place for me.  I worked for Yosemite Sierra Summer Camp the four years I was in college.  The camp was intimate and isolated, but attached to the lake for skiing.  Yosemite Sierra Summer Camp took cheery, chattering busloads of campers to climbing and hiking in Yosemite.  I was one of their term camp counselors that taught water skiing and climbing, and guided backpacking trips and hikes to the top of Half Dome.  The summers were organized and very focused on the joys and experiences of the campers, but we counselors were the better benefactors from solid summers spent there.  It was a Christian camp dedicated to providing super trips that taught kids about themselves, relationships, and who God could be in their lives.  I was so impressed with how this impacted and changed lives through just being outdoors. I minored in Camp and Recreation Administration.  I hoped for the opportunity to use outdoors as a means to affect lives. My husband and I had even taken positions one summer at running the kitchen and camp maintenance when our kids were toddlers.  That is how much I loved this camp.  And the outdoors.  Someone told me as I struggled to find direction from the divorce to go back to where I think I first lost the sock. So ponder… I never lost my socks when I was in the outdoors.  I was heading back to that spot.

Camp was in session so I wasn’t sure if I wanted to interrupt.  I pulled into a marina and went for a short trail run.  It was hot even at this altitude.  Coming back very sweaty, I plunged into the lake, luckily, feet first.  I was met with a surprising jar and a searing pain.  What appeared to be emerald and deep water was actually shallow.  I had hit a rock only a few inches below the surface. It made me mad at how stupid I was to misjudge the depth and not check first what the consequences of taking such a plunge would be. The gash could have used stiches.  I refused to baby it.  I deserved the scar it would leave. Stupid,  Caren, to plunge without knowing what lie underneath.  It was a great parallel of the reality of the same stupidity I had to face in the consequences of plunging into a relationship while still married. It looked so cool and refreshing. The pain from both my new injury and the ones the relationship plunge had caused racked my body.  Tears rolled.  Mad tears. Hurt tears.  How could I have been so stupid?  Needy.  Wreckless.  I rocked and writhed, wet and muddy on the dirt path.  Both inflicted rightful pain I deserved.  Both gashes will leave scars.

I finally grappled myself together, wrapped my wound from my truck first aid kit, changed from my soiled running outfit in the bath house, and visited the camp. I was thrilled to find it unchanged.  Though years had gone by, the campers bouncing by with paddles and life vests, swinging on ropes courses, and nets, they were just the same.  And the camp owner’s daughter, my exact age now, was the new camp director. We high fived each other over turning fifty.  And the counselors?  Many were the sons and daughters of the counselors I had worked with years before.  De ju vue.  It is one of the best run camps around.  Definitely, in my book, one of the most effective and well rounded. I didn’t stay long, but it was a detour I needed to remind myself of.  Felt like I self-imposed a scene from Scrooge and Christmas Past. Felt like it reminded me that the outdoors is that powerful teaching environment.  It was refreshing to know that nature, credit it God’s creation, hadn’t changed that much.

Romans 1:20. “For since the creation of the world His invisible attributes are clearly seen, being understood by the things that are made….”  God’s invisible attributes are seen in the things He has created.  I personally cannot deny that.

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