Camping, So Happy-Hearted

6 September, 2012

in Daily Life & Family Love,Into the Woods,Learning: Read, Watch, Listen

2012 Summer 028b

Lake Michigan. Her sand dunes. Be still my heart.

2012 Summer 020

I take a big breath when I see this path. It’s about a quarter mile back to our group lot.  More work to lug everything back there, but you feel like you have your own little village for the weekend.

2012 Summer 021

I look above and see only sky and trees.

2012 Summer 022

I look ahead and see only trees and trail.

2012 Summer 024

After unpacking we head to the beach where the Platte River meets Lake Michigan.   I’m starting to get excited.

2012 Summer 025

We round the corner and see more of her shores and dunes.

2012 Summer 026

The river is shallow and slow enough for little ones to play in.  Another person’s rock inlet becomes ours for the afternoon.

2012 Summer 028

With the littles settled and happy I turn around and just take it all in again.  I could stand there and be happy forever. 

I’m struck by the fact that this beautiful landscape we enjoy now was created by traumatic conditions and epic change long ago.  I think there’s something in that for us, don’t you?

2012 Summer 030

Even on a full Labor Day weekend the beaches are so big and so many that it’s never crowded.

2012 Summer 031

I turn around again to see that the kids have discovered and rediscovered how perfect the glacial rocks of Lake Michigan are as skipping stones.

2012 Summer 037

Lessons begin and there are many triumphs.  Even the littlest get 3 skips now and again and the older kids rejoice at 6, 7, and 8.  Though we do have to wrangle them to make sure they don’t hit passing kayakers!

2012 Summer 036

My heart is full and happy here.  It’s exactly what I want for my kids.  To provide them with simple, timeless pleasures that they can enjoy no matter where they go and what they do for the rest of their lives.

2012 Summer 038

I turn again to see the two 7 year olds playing in another rock circle/mini inlet.

2012 Summer 039

I sneak up on them to not disturb their play.

2012 Summer 040

They are playing house and making a kitchen complete with shelving and tables.

2012 Summer 041

Even the littlest gets into the the rock skipping and entertains me all afternoon by chucking rocks 2 feet in front of her and then holding both hands over her head like an NFL referee at touchtown, yelling “Skip!” as loud as she can.

2012 Summer 043

I can’t resist taking a picture of the hand-carved wooden animals in the nearest trade store/tourist shop/gas station. (Yes, it really is all those things rolled into one.)  I bought Joe a squirrel here a couple of years ago.

Blue Moon

At night we joke about how Joe’s having Blue Moon on the actual Blue Moon.  No one quite knows what it is, so I’m reading Wiki out loud to all of us in the middle of the woods.  It’s a funny modern combo, enjoying and learning about the ancient rhythms of the moon on a little phone.  And then I try to capture it’s glorious light on that same little phone, and promise myself to someday learn proper night photography.

2012 Summer 054

We talk long into the night around the fire about everything from the silly to the mundane to the dreadfully serious. It was such a good day.

It felt just like this song, Old Pine,  from my new favorite artist, Ben Howard. Really, listen:

Hot sand on toes, cold sand in sleeping bags,
I’ve come to know that memories
Were the best things you ever had
The summer shone, beat down on bony backs
So far from home where the ocean stood
Down dust and pine cone tracks

We slept like dogs down by the fire side
Awoke to the fog all around us
The boom of summer time

We stood
Steady as the stars in the woods
So happy-hearted
And the warmth rang true inside these bones
As the old pine fell we sang
Just to bless the morning

Hot sand on toes, cold sand in sleeping bags,
I’ve come to know the friends around you
Are all you’ll always have
Smoke in my lungs, or the echoed stone
Careless and young, free as the birds that fly
With weightless souls now.

We grow, grow, steady as the morning
We grow, grow, older still
We grow, grow, happy as a new dawn
We grow, grow, older still
We grow, grow, steady as the flowers
We grow, grow, older still
We grow, grow, happy as a new dawn
We grow, grow, older still


{ 2 comments… read them below or add one }

geek+nerdNo Gravatar

So beautiful! Thanks for sharing your family’s adventures. I adore that song too! So lovely, just what I needed this morning.


ElizabethNo Gravatar

Yay! So glad to hear of another who like Old Pine! Thanks for stopping by, Sarah!


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