Today was glorious–hot and summery and just as I’d hope it to be on Memorial Day weekend. We made our first (and second) trek of the season to the blissful, sandy beach…the first, to nap and soak in the sun, and the second, to test Kruger’s paws at doggy paddling at sunset. Both visits were life-giving in their own right; there’s nothing I love more in nature than the beach, and nothing lovelier to me than the beach at sunrise or sunset. This is the time of year when I feel most at home and at peace in Michigan.
As a student at Hope (a few years back), I’d escape to the beach on a weekday afternoon for solitude–a place to rest and think, write and pray, watch and wonder. To this day, a quiet afternoon alone with the sun and the waves is one of the most re-energizing ways I spend my time. There’s something so intriguing to me about the beach!
On a Sunday in the summer time (or in this case, on Memorial Day weekend), it’s unlikely to arrive at the lake and find it quiet and empty. Instead, it’s challenging to find a square in the sand to call your own. The water is bustling with families–kids splashing, building sand castles, running through mazes made by beach blankets and shady umbrellas. Even so, there’s splendor in it; and when I’ve found a spot to lay my towel and settled in, I’m back in the same, wonderful space of last summer, and the summers before it. It’s always changing, ever the same. I love, love, love the beach!
Tonight, after a summery barbecue in the backyard, we took our sun-kissed selves back to the lake with Kruger, our one year old lab, to see whether the beach might become one of his favorite places to visit, too. This, after last summer’s futile attempts to get our then few-month-old pup into the water. To our delight (and admittedly, our relief), Kruger turns out to be a certified lab after all. His little webbed feet made their way into paddling position in no time, and while he seemed to prefer a sort of in-the-water, out-of-the-water routine, we’re no longer concerned that Kruger will forever fear the lake.
As I write this, both boys (Jason and Kruger) are curled up in their respective spots in the living room–a testament, of course, to the activities of the day. Undoubtedly, we’ll all sleep well tonight–perhaps dreaming about the sunny, playful summer that stretches out before us. If I could, I’d give the beach a great big sandy hug before bed; a little love to let it know how much I appreciate the joy it adds to my world.