16 June 2009

Silence... broken

I am sorry that I have not posted anything in a while. I just got back for the Boundary Waters Canoe Area (BWCA). This year my friends and I went to Quetico, Ontario, Canada. I have heard of stories of people posting vacation plans, and later coming back to find out that their house had been robbed by someone who read the posting.

The BWCA is an amazingly beautiful region of both the US and Canada. Both sides of the border are national parks. In the BWCA there are no cell phones, TV's or radios. There are no cars or motor boats. The two loudest sources of noise were the frogs and loons. It amazes me that you could hear the murmur of people talking a quarter of a mile away.

The voyageurs with me on this trip were my good friend Matt and his fraternity brother, Daniel. We stayed on a small island in North Bay of Basswood Lake. We nicknamed it Biting Ant Island. Whilst it did have ants that bite, it was not that bad. We just want to make sure it does not get too many visitors -- besides us, of course.

Daniel, who does not seem particularly religious, noted the aescetic nature of the trip. And it seems we took a "Cistercian" approach to our duties during this trip. The major difference instead of working smarter to free up time for the Divine Office, we freed up time for fishing. For example, on a previous trip we had a little hand pump to filter the water. On this trip we used a dish pan to fill a collapsible 5-gallon container. Then the raw water was poured in to a hanging filter. This saved us about two hours a day.

Seeing God's beautiful undisturbed creation made it very easy for my heart being directed back to God. Watching Bald Eagles fly across a beautiful blue sky, I thought of the verse in the Psalms asking God to lift us up with eagle's wings. Most of the time I was just in silent awe.

If I am accepted in religious life, I think it is trips like this that I will miss more than a house, car, or outside career. That being said, God's grace and beauty of His creation is available in abundance through out the world.

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