I drove into the entrance a little bit excited and a lot scared. And completely in awe of the beauty surrounding me. It was the beauty of the place that had brought me back. My family had visited when I was a teenager and longed to return to the mountains. I got my opportunity as summer staff at the camp we had visited. Drove across the country for the chance. But I was alone. What awaited me? Who awaited me? Would I find a place where I belonged? People with whom I belonged?
It is the desire of our hearts. To belong. To know and be known. To be wanted. We are desperate for it. We do crazy things to try and obtain it. And sometimes we find that place and those people. What a rare and beautiful gift. I found it in that place. On that mountain, where the steeple lit up the night in striking colors. Inside the rooms of a preschool where we passed the bean bags and drank untold amounts of apple juice. Down the sidewalks where we walked, up and down, and up and down, with a stroller that held six.
There, in that place, people belonged. Not because we were all the same. Or because we thought the same. But because we were in it together. We shared the same experiences, the same goals, and the same terrible dining hall food. And it brought us together. Gave us a place where we all belonged.