“It seemed to them that they did little but eat and drink and rest, and walk among the trees; and it was enough.” (J.R.R. Tolkien, The Fellowship of the Ring)
I spent the weekend in an old-growth forest in mountains not far from the Pacific Ocean. It’s a place where the trees are tall and very big around, and moss hangs in blankets. Both blue and red huckleberries were in season, and I discovered I have a preference for the red.
I didn’t take many pictures, because sometimes you realize it’s pointless–like trying to catch the brilliance of a full moon or a beautiful sunset. Some things are just too large, too majestic (so here I’ve borrowed photos from the camp’s facebook page).
Back up in there, at Drift Creek Camp, my church meets for one weekend of the year. A lot of people in the congregation didn’t attend. The beds aren’t comfortable, the road is long and windy, September is a busy month. Yes, all of these things are true, and there have been years I have used one or more of those excuses to stay home. But I’m always so glad when I go. I normally carry up a box of paperwork to work on, but the box always remains untouched.
I always walk among the trees. There’s even a trail hike called “hike to the giants”–giant trees, that is. I walk the trail to the creek and rest beside the clear and sparkling water. I breathe in air so fresh it feels as new as the day itself.
The children run around outside when the weather is fine. The older folks sit in the lodge reading or talking. Cups of tea, coffee, and hot cocoa are scattered about. We line up for mealtimes at the tinkling of a bell and sing our grace in good Mennonite style, grateful not to worry about food preparation for a day or two.
Someone turns to me smiling, “It seems all we do is eat.”
That same night, on my crinkly camp bed, I read the line from Tolkien. It is a summation of the weekend.
“It seemed to them that they did little but eat and drink and rest, and walk among the trees; and it was enough.”
Indeed. It is enough.