On Sunday eighteen of us leave for a Boundary Waters Canoe Area adventure. There will be thirteen youth and five adults. We will base camp outside of the BWCA the first and last nights in order to be together. For two nights, we will be groups of nine apiece in the BWCA.
I have been part of bringing youth to the BWCA for thirteen years of my fifteen years of ministry. It never fails to move me. Watching youth unplug and open to water and stars is a holy gift.
For the last seven years, my partner in crime has held camp together. He is great with kids, handles me well (ask anyone, it is a necessary skill involving coffee provision and humor), and sets a powerful tone for our communal life together.
This year Alex isn’t going with us. He is ill with some confounded thing so he needs to remain home. I’m missing him already.
We settle into rhythm in our lives. We find partners who make us better leaders and better people. Often we take them for granted, these co-journeyers. In their company, we take up our parts and know the good of our companions and adventures are embraced with a sense of confidence and gratitude. When the rhythm changes, we notice.
This year, I am partnered with other great adults who have participated with me in these camps for years. We’ll do fine.
But we will miss the sarcastic and steady presence of he who needs healing.