Hey everybody, welcome back. Of course, that welcome is just as much for me as for you as I will have had to return from the wilderness to actually post this bit of writing. I’ve settled in to my home for the summer and wow, what a difference. I’m staying at Roosevelt Lodge, which we call “Roosie.” I’m living in an old rustic wooden cabin with a wood-burning stove to provide heat in the still chilly weather that yet hovers around here. It may be summer, but it’s yet to feel quite like summer. Also, there’s no cell signal and no internet of any kind where I am. It’s actually quite nice. It’s the kind of retreat that I’ve been desiring for some time now. I still find myself reaching for my phone to check it, even though I know it’s on airplane mode to simply serve as an over-qualified alarm clock. I’m hoping to feel less of the need to be so attached to technology, which is quite ironic as I type this on the front porch of my cabin to enjoy the cool night air and the sky, which is just so beautiful. I’ve greatly missed being able to truly see the stars; there’s so many there, yet most people are completely unaware because of all the light pollution we create. There are so many blessings in life that God gives us, but like the stars in the sky, we are unable to see them clearly and may think them much less.

As for more of my life here, the weekend consisted primarily of training. I think tomorrow I begin more of a regular schedule. I was surprised when I first arrived here, because the site is still closed for the public and here I am with some of the early arrivals to prepare for the opening of the season. It’s been great to get to know the people with whom I’ll be working without a great amount of other people here. We will be getting a good rush of other coworkers later this week, including the last member of the ACMNP team here at Roosevelt Lodge. Soon we’ll be able to begin worship services, which is something I’m really excited about. There’s a lot of great potential for this summer, but I know it’ll be up to me to keep my attitude and perspective in the right places for me to be able to draw out the potential.

But I can’t end this writing without giving a deeper account of the beauty of this place. It’s truly breathtaking. I see the rivers and rolling hills in the midst of the mountains and I just am taken away. The skies are always spectacular. Part of me wishes that I had brought out my paint supplies, but considering the nature of oil paints, I figured they were probably best left out of my care while I’m in the middle of a national park. But I’m taking as many photos and as many mental images as I can so that perhaps when I get back I can continue to reflect upon my time here through painting those scenes. And speaking of scenes, let me tell you about the wildlife. Just last night I was driving a group of us back into Roosie and I had to stop because there is a giant herd of bison in the middle of the road. As we wait there, the herd starts moving toward my car and eventually surrounds us a bit as they move on. It was really amazing. Also, there’s a couple of bear cubs and their mother that are a popular sight and I have to admit, watching the baby bears play with such joy and abandon makes my heart light. Of course, there’s plenty of other animals I’ve seen as well. Hopefully I’ll post some photos later…once I get some good ones that is. But for now, I say good night. May you enjoy the wilderness of your own lives.

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