Tuesday, 14 March 2017
Then We Stopped for a Bit
I realised, just this morning, that the Labour Day long weekend has occurred at exactly the right moment in the middle of the school term. I know it was the right moment, because I slept for 10 hours the first night, and seven hours for each of the next two. Hours and hours of uninterrupted sleep. That's when I know I'm really tired.
As well as sleeping, however, this weekend infused us with a needed dose of our tribe. Each year we camp with people we've known our entire lives. A family of five siblings, some of their spouses and many of their children. Plus us, and another family, all of whom grew up in the same church as children. Back then we played together, holidayed together, churched together and spent our days in one another's homes. My aunt married the cousin of the 5 siblings, so we are connected in more than just deep friendship.
It takes time to develop community; a tribe of people that are part of your everyday life. I didn't realise how valuable that was until we needed to uproot ourselves and move to a new church. All of a sudden our tribe wasn't our tribe anymore. But these whole-of-life friendships have been the ones that have sustained and fuelled us along the way. They are precious and necessary. We know each other's faults and gifts. We know when to "smile and nod" or roll our eyes quietly, and when to challenge and how to laugh. That's not a quick thing to develop.
So this weekend we've camped. Us in our 30yo very saggy caravan. The kids now use little tents because they don't fit in the bunks at the back of the van anymore. But it does the job. It only takes us an hour to pack, and we're on our way.
The next time we camp it will be with a new tribe. One we're building and growing and sewing ourselves into. That's also necessary. But there's nothing like the comfort of something deeply known.