Thursday, February 11, 2010

the smell of hope

this evening i was going for a walk, down the same street i always walk down. but there was something different about it tonight. as i turned the corner near the end of mile two, i noticed a familiar smell... for some reason tonight, this little corner of nashville smelled exactly like warner camp. i have never before noticed this scent anywhere other than warner. and those familiar smells tend to do, i was instantly taken back to warner in my mind.

i literally had to stop in my tracks and regain my composure, a double take (or double whiff) if you will.

warner camp is the setting of so many of my stories. the place multiple youth group retreats throughout junior high and high school, a place where so many important decisions were made. hard letters to family members were written as well as received. gifts were discovered.

i went back a few times during the summers of college to lead middle school camps. it was there i learned what i wanted to do with the rest of my life (or at least, what i thought at the time, which brought me to the college i attended, and the major i studied). it was there that i processed my college internship. it was there i decided i was no longer interested in that area of study. it was there important friendships were strengthened.

it's been almost five years since i've been back, but at least once a year since then i have felt the need and desire to go back. perhaps on my own as a personal retreat, i don't know.

there's just something special about that land, as anyone who has ever step foot on the campgrounds will tell you. i've been to a lot of places in my twenty-six years of life, but i have yet to discover a place as close to heaven as warner camp.

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