I attended a Ladies Retreat this weekend at Camp Norland in Northern Ontario. And this morning I did just what the title says I did… I canoed to church! I don’t think the retreat could have gotten any better than that moment for me. There were many highlights of the weekend – being surrounded by godly women, hearing encouraging insight and teaching from an inspiring woman, eating great food, bunking in with two good friends & strengthening those bonds even more, and organizing the camp bookstore (I LOVE organizing, and right now my house needs a top-to-bottom organizing after more than a year of renovations, so it was nice to start with a small camp bookstore this weekend!).
But this morning… ah this morning… in a canoe with a wonderful woman who I got to know even more the past two days (and now I know she’s even more wonderful than originally thought), the waves were just enough to make paddling a challenge, the paddle dipping into the water, letting droplets fall off its back before sinking into the water again, the rocks and water reeds and cliff faces blending together to create beautiful scenery, the church stood in the distance, across the lake, beckoning us to enjoy the fellowship that waited there.
The simplicity of the situation captured us both… the pioneer-ness of the morning, flashbacks to yesteryear, to 1893 when the church orginated and attendees probably had no choice but to paddle the waters in search of fellowship. We loved that we found our bearings back to camp by rock formations and the appearance of the shoreline instead of maps and road signs (we DID get lost for a few minutes, but seen as there was no stopping to ask for directions on the water, we were left to our own devices and relied on the land that surrounded us!).
As we pulled up to a flat rock face that protruded from the water near the church on the lake that holds such a dear place in my heart, and parked our ride for the duration of the service, we marvelled at the morning, the opportunity to canoe to church… and how pure and simple life can sometimes be… and just enjoyed every second of it.
Thank you Kipling Church, for the impact you’ve made on me, and so many others, bless you as you continue on into the future God has for you on Deer Lake in Northern Ontario.