along the shore of lake michigan TUESDAY, JUNE 14, 2011
We live close to Lake Michigan. We go to the beach all year round. And yet, there is something about the turning of the seasons - when it is finally time to swim in this Lake again - that makes me nostalgic and full of memories. . . memories of growing girls in this familiar landscape. Watching our girls play on the beach last night, I found myself marveling at how they’ve grown. I remember Ellen putting her toes in the sand for the very first time. And there was the night that Amabel first climbed on the rocks along the shore. Amabel played mermaid sisters when my dear bud Tara came to visit. I can hardly believe that these are our little girls on the beach - two years ago! I love seeing Ellen’s chubby hands covered in sand. Just over a year ago, baby Ellen used to walk everywhere on her knees . . . even in the sand! I remember when Amabel and I went on a beach date, the week our long house search began. Here are our bathing beauties, last June. My how they’ve grown. And here they are this spring, the little buddies making sand pies together. After blogging for two-and-a-half years, I’ve revisited a number of themes in my writing and photography, but images of our girls alongside this beautiful Lake appear again and again - never ceasing to inspire my wonder and gratitude. I have found so much peace here, over the past five years, watching Amabel and Ellen beside the Lake. You’d never guess, from my photos, how many other people are usually on this beach in the summer or that we have to cross two double lanes of traffic to get here from our house. When I sit here and watch these girls, even I might forget, for a moment, that I am in the city. Having this place so close to home has helped me tremendously, keeping my inner longing for wild places alive and well. And the girls, well, I’m sure they hardly notice the traffic, the boat noises, the people. They are fully present on the beach, absorbed in the water and the sand. We won’t have the gift of this beach five minutes from home for much longer. And yet I will carry the freedom it has inspired within me, with gratitude, to our new place. Soon we will travel to a new home not quite so close - but sill within view - of our familiar Lake Michigan.