08 October 2011

Northshore 2011

This year, the trip was glorious. There is no other way to describe it. I want to remember every second of it. Even the not so great moments, because this trip changed me. I'm still trying to figure out how, but I know it did.

As we pulled into Gooseberry Falls, an ambulance flew past, and out of habit I hoped that the person for whom it was headed would receive the help they needed. The scenery soon proved a distraction from anything outside the moment. I was glad to be alive and outside enjoying it.

The weather was absolutely perfect, one of those sparkling fall days when you can almost feel the crispness of the blue sky. We were all thrilled to be escaping from the drudgery of laundry, meals, cleaning and all those little mundane things that make up a life. The whole weekend stretched ahead, begging to be spent relaxing with good friends.

For two hours, we thoroughly explored the area from the falls to the shoreline. My camera worked hard, but my eyes and ears worked harder! I could almost feel my soul exhale. Our chatter must have sounded rather like a group of magpies, nattering on about this and that. We chased fish, and then we chased waves. Chatter. Chatter. We talked about lunch and realized it was mid afternoon already. As we loaded ourselves back into the vehicle, we snacked on trail mix and laughed about our "near death" experience with a chipmunk.

Immediately after we pulled out of the entrance and headed up the highway, a man by a white truck motioned us to slow down. By the time we figured out why he was cautioning us, the traffic behind looked like this. Only then did we remember the ambulance.

In front of us, it was much the same. As we crept along, a police car escorted a van along the wrong side of the yellow line. Traffic was stopped in the opposite direction as well. When we reached the site of the accident, it was clear there had been at least one fatality. I've never seen anything like it and hope to never repeat the experience.

The tone of the weekend instantly changed. In an instant, it wasn't about getting away; it was about getting deeper. We were suddenly more deliberate. Everyone who passed that site was given a chance to really think about life. To take the time to assess what is important and what is not.

And I will once again choose to trust that what makes no sense to me makes sense to Someone who is both loving and just. And I choose to trust that He is at work in this situation as He has been in so many other senseless places, because I know that good has already triumphed over evil. And someday, we will see the end of the movie.

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