Monday, July 2, 2012

Going North Today

Later today I'm headed for a family cabin, a cabin that's been in my wife's family for 50 years.  For my wife the cabin is "home" in a way that no where else is.  She has already gone up there and I'll follow after I've done a few more chores and have gotten my things together.  I'll stop at the airport in the Twin Cities to pick up my sister-in-law and then we'll drive north.

After worship yesterday a dear friend wished me well about this and then I found myself sharing some ambivalent feelings about "cabin time."   As I prepare to go I'm feeling it would be good to get those feelings down in writing.  I share these things with the world because I think there are many of us who have a variety of feelings when it comes to spending time with those we love.

I dearly love all of the people at the cabin.  I dearly love them all as individuals and as a group.  There is absolutely nothing personal about my conflicted feelings about being up north.  If I had to pick some people to be with in a confined space for a week or more there are few others that I would choose to be "stuck with" for a week than the Dahlins.  We share the same Christian faith.  We have similar opinions on issues and have similar values and morals.  Pleasant personalities, tremendous talents, interesting  group conversations, great games and songs abound.  The various generations care deeply about each other.

The cabin is situated on the shore of a very sweet little lake.  It's a great place for swimming and canoeing and sailing (the family has a little sailboat which I particularly enjoy), there is shade for sitting and sun for sunning.  There is no air conditioning but a person can take a dip in the lake to cool off as often as he or she wishes.  There is no lack of food and not much work.  My wife's parents are servants of God and servants of us.  They do so much for us and love us in ways that can hardly be described.

It's wonderful!  It's like being away at a family Bible camp.  It's a huge blessing straight from God.

Even with all of that, I'm still feeling conflicted.  How can that be?  Part of it is my task orientation toward life.  I just know there are so many things that need to be done here in Cokato.  Part of me would love to spend unscheduled time here to putter away at the many things that need to be done at the house we purchased last year.

The other part of my ambivalence is the sense of being "confined" or "contained" in the space and in a particular way of relating to one another that is hard to describe.  The cabin is a busy place, even though it's a relaxing place.  There are ways that a person can get away by him or herself, there are hammocks and chairs where a person can get settled into a book, and, as my friend mentioned after church yesterday, being at the cabin hasn't stopped me from blogging.  But the fact is that with a dozen or more people eating meals together, playing together, talking together, all in a small cabin, there isn't sometimes the chance to go very "deep" in any way, not in our relationships with one another and not one-on-one with God.  And, for me, going "deep" is one of he chief pleasures in life.

I've always been an "odd duck" at the cabin, preferring often to remain quieter than others and not really wanting to spend all my time with everyone else.  I also choose to eat differently than some and that is noticed by the crowd. I don't think I'm unpleasant but I do sometimes escape.  I'm not the only one who does that, but I think I do it more than others.  I get weary of the constant group conversations.  When I'm up there, I think I act somewhat introverted... maybe my true personality comes out?  Who knows.

Anyway, a goal I'm going to set this week when I'm up there is to try to spend some one on one or one on two time with some of the people.  I don't know if that will work, but I'll try.  I'll take quiet time this year too as I always have, but this year I think I'll try to take it more intentionally, so I can get my "deep thinking" time in and, by means of this blog, to share deeply with you all as well.

Now that I've gotten all this out, I'm more positive about going up north.  Lots to do though before that, and since I've been up since 4 a.m. I'm going to need a nap too.

Thanks for listening.

1 comment:

  1. I appreciate your insights on the cabin time Steve. Reminds me somewhat about family reunions with my inlaws. Find your space!