Summer Snapshots

There are many things that I love about disposable cameras, one being that they can sum up a period of time in a few snapshots. These photos pretty much round up the summer into four significant phases. Just looking back at them makes me laugh at how brilliant it was!

Home: after four years of adventure being stranded in your hometown can feel like a prison sentence. But this Summer I learned to love it again. I got a job at my favourite place in town, working with a wonderfully eclectic group of people. I recognised the importance of investing in friendships and communities, relishing in the love and support of a church that has known and loved me since I was a child. For the first time I could see all the advantages of growing up there, I could appreciate its quirks and, most importantly, love its people. 

Berlin: the buzz, the sunflowers, the friends, the art...I will always have a soft spot for the city. It was so amazing to spend a few days speaking German outside of an academic context. The language and the culture are no longer an intellectual pursuit but a little guilty pleasure, a not-so-secret parallel universe where I can cultivate a new identity for myself. However, it was the first time that I visited without that desperate urge to throw in the towel and move there immediately. On my last day I felt no longing, no sense of loss. I felt content belonging elsewhere.

Edinburgh: like Berlin, Edinburgh Fringe is one of those places where I always want to be. Four days of megabus, hiking, theatre-watching adventures were enough to satisfy the craving. It was one of those trips that mark how far you've come in pursuing your dreams. The first time I went to the fringe I was just a spectator, I knew nobody and I sat on the grassy mound with my friend Jake dreaming of being a performer at the festival. The year after I went up with an opera written by a friend at university and I dreamed of making a career out of what I love. This year, four years since my first trip, I went to the fringe with a place at drama school, with every intention and possibility of making that dream a reality. As well as stagey moments, the trip was full of curious conversations with ma girl Abi and her Godmother Monica, foraging for porcini mushrooms and wandering around a tartan clad castle. A restorative break if ever I had one. 

David's Tent: after months of doubting and grappling with faith and the ways of Christianity, David's Tent showed me how church could be done and it changed my life. If the church can bring hope, love, comfort and space to meet with God, then I love it. Serving on team taught me what it means to be part of a faith filled family, how to love deeply and effectively and put other's needs before my own. It taught me that restrictions are man made, that God is a creative mystery and that I was born to reflect the creativity, love and acceptance of my maker. It was also hilarious and silly, like a pack of crayons.

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