This is a post that I need to write, but I’m not sure that I can. I need to write it to put a period, a question mark, or some kind of punctuation to close this chapter of my life. But I’m still processing the whole thing. I probably won’t stop processing it. In one incarnation or another, Seesalt has been a part of my life since I was three. It has been my profession and vocation for the entirety of my adult life thus far. Two weeks after the fact seems a bit soon to try to say something about it, but two decades might feel that way too. In other words, this is probably going to be a mess.
This last summer has been a good one. It was not perfect by any stretch of the imagination, but it was good. At the end of the day, that is all one can ask for.
On my last Wednesday night—the night of our longest drama and the final night that I extended invitation—I realized that it was the last evening worship service in which I would play bass in the band. This was during the song “Oceans.” You need to understand that “Oceans” is a wonderful song about trusting God in the unknown but it is also weaponized emotion in musical form. I spent the rest of that night barely holding things together until I saw EA at the end of the service and collapsed into a sobbing heap.
If that was my next to last night then you would figure my final night would be even more Crazy Adventures in Basketcaseville. Instead there was peace. Peace that this is the right time. Peace that we are making the right decision. Peace that God would still be there as we venture out into the wilderness. That peace was a gift.
Towards the end of the summer, I started making a mental list of all that I would miss about Seesalt. It is by no means an exhaustive list, but it is that with which I want to finish this post.
I will miss the sound of an entire room talking to God during guided prayer time.
I will miss “Amazing Grace” after communion.
I will miss standing in the surf with my friends on late Thursday night as we are overcome with relief and gratitude.
I will miss playing in a band.
I will miss getting to watch my parents use their gifts and abilities each summer.
I will miss the giddy anticipation that comes before that first week of camp.
I will miss watching the joy emanating from staff, students, and adults.
I will miss the energy.
I will miss how much I learned each summer.
I will miss being a part of the dramas in each worship service and will be forever grateful for my dad’s conviction that there are many, many ways to communicate the gospel.
I will miss “Arky Arky” even though the story of Noah and the Ark gives me all kinds of problems and I was probably about two years away from dying while giving God the glory, glory.
I will miss rec demonstrations with the staff on Thursday morning.
I will miss the ridiculously surprising ways in which I have seen God work over the years.
I will miss being in a place where I could get away with writing into a worship service drama a dream sequence scene in which Abraham Lincoln searches for a polar bear while another character chases someone else around with an ax.
I will miss getting to use a bullhorn every Thursday.
I will miss seeing the students that “get it” and watching how it changes them down the road.
I will miss the community. The Seesalt staff has gone from being the men and women to whom I looked up to my peers to these awesome people a decade younger than me. I will miss the late nights, inside jokes, the hunger for the something good that can only come from God. The conversations, the laughter, the prayers, and everything else that I have been privileged to experience with this community has left an indelible mark on my life for the better.
I will miss all of this and more than I could say. I will miss Seesalt greatly. But I am also excited about whatever happens next.
Godspeed, Seesalt. Thank you and thank God for all that I have gotten to experience this summer and all the summers before.