These are all pictures from my last camp in Washington state! This camp made me so happy, and was the perfect end to the summer.
Today is the last full day of this entire internship, and I am trying to sort through a lot of emotions. My camera is filled with all of the joy I’ve found this summer. I have pictures of majestic trees, beautiful landscapes, bright flowers, new friends’ laughter, smiling babies, happy campers, and camp pets. I’ve met at least 500 new people that have touched my heart and helped me know more about beloved community. But looking at my camera is too easy—now I really have to look at my heart. What just happened? And how did it go by so fast?!
I’ll start by saying that I’m never going to forget the fellow peace interns that I’ve met. I spent the most time with the graceful Minerva. We shared four camp experiences together in addition to training and concluding weeks. She has sacrificed her time, safety, and comfort to share what life is like under the Occupation, and she has never raised her voice or lost her cool, even though the oppression she lives under is sickening. Her composure and sincerity has taught me about dignity, and how no one can take that from us unless we give them permission. I’m so happy to know her, and I’m forever grateful for finally being able to put a face to all of the stories I have only vaguely read or heard. Likewise, Rachel has been a joy to get to know. Her spunk and humor have given us all so much laughter and warmth this summer. Matthew is incredibly brilliant and ready at any moment to drop the most insightful vision into a conversation. Naiomi is FIERCE, bold, and fun-spirited, and it has been lovely to dig deeper and find that awesome personality under her seemingly hard shell. I love these people. I love that I just shared two and a half months with their support and encouragement. And now, I love that I get to leave knowing that we carry this unique experience with us wherever we go. Of course, Phoebe is the most perfect Peace Momma for this job. She is patient, hilarious, way too talented for words, and she is so giving of herself. These relationships are the kind that stick like sap. We are all changed because we met each other.
When I get home tomorrow, I am taking this strange new knowledge that I actually am enough. I began this summer with so much self-doubt. I wondered if I would know enough, be bubbly enough, be strong enough… But from the moment I began my first workshop, I knew it would be okay. My happiest moments were when I was teaching and engaging with campers, and my saddest moments were when I was trying to find my footing in new places. I don’t know if I changed anyone’s mind, nor do can I predict how this experience will affect my own life going forward. But what matters most to me right now is that we are all more than enough. We are capable of anything, and we get to make our own peace even when the world or our circumstances don’t want to make too much room for it.