One week ago from yesterday I said goodbye to the lovely work group from 1st Pres. of CO Springs. They blessed me SO so greatly in their time here. I felt a strong sense of community and belonging with them. We “got” each other… cultural references, music, hipster jokes, etc. :) And moreover, they had positive attitudes, open minds, and warm hearts. Basically they are amazing, and we here at Pico all miss them so much!
The last three days with 1st Pres consisted of an amazing homestay (which I will blog about later – it deserves its own post!) and a day at the beach on the northern Dominican coast (this was when I was sick, so it was kind of anticlimactic, but nonetheless beautiful). Then I had the joy of returning home for one night at camp just to pack up again for the next trip: we got to go on a 3-day adventure trip as a summer staff! This was right up my alley.
We went to a beach called frontón, which is on the penísula samaná. (I sought a pleasant peninsula, so I looked about me, and found samaná, not Michigan. Oh well.) It is easily one of the most beautiful places I’ve ever been. Frontón is a fairly small beach that is nestled between a coral reef and a 300-foot rock face that juts out straight above it. It’s famous for climbing (which unfortunately we did not get to do) but I could see the bolts, and the routes looked amazing. (Next time, I guess!)
We hiked 2 hours in with our supplies on our back (with a burro carrying our water, which was luxurious for a backpacking trip!) and set up camp right there on the beach, under the palm trees, taking mind not to set our tents under the coconuts, so as to save our heads from any falling cocos. :)
Our time there was refreshing, relaxing, delightful, community-building, beautiful, healing, challenging, hilarious, unexpected, and restorative.
We of course delighted in the unbelievable natural beauty of the place, in the joys of splashing in the warm salty sea, and in waking up early to see the sunrise. We also learned to laugh at our circumstances, and when torrential rains fell for most of our first morning, we just kept swimming since it was warmer in the water, anyways. (Later on we did have our time to lay like bums in the sun, too.) These things brought us together as a team, which is something I really needed to experience. God is good.
And for me it was also a beautiful time of spiritual refreshment. Being out in nature is what I love most – there were multiple moments where I just felt this whooshing feeling of deep breaths, of the spirit moving through me – I just felt so alive! Moments of “this is what I’m made for” – not so much in the sense that my vocation is to be a beach bum, but more to say that this feeling of living life to the full, of experiencing deep joy and communion with the Creator and his creation – this is what we’re made for. The barrier between heaven and this broken world is very thin in Frontón.
The last night, the sky cleared and I slept out on the beach, under the stars. Before I slept I spent a couple hours just staring at the stars, the full moon, and the heaving sea, breathing in the salt air and contemplating the creator. Such delight, worship, and rest.
Frontón is covered in God’s fingerprints. We can find them everywhere, not just in places of such obvious beauty… and my time there served as a reminder to look for them all about the paths I walk.
May you, too, search and find God’s fingerprints everywhere.