Alyssa and I dreamed ahead to summertime before the snow had finished melting, and agreed we needed to do more road trips this year. It's not summertime until you pack all the kids and the beach stuff in the car, load up on Timbits and coffee, and head out to a new beach a long drive away. We made a list of ones we could tap, and our inaugural summer road trip to the beach was epic. We brought along our friend Simone, followed the directions to Gananoque, and hit up a beach my mom had found for us earlier this year on a road trip of her own.
The beach is along the St. Lawrence seaway, adjacent to a marina full of impressive sailboats, and comes fully loaded with a splash pad, park with pirate-boat climber and sandy beach. We laid out our beach blankets under the shade of what we think was a cherry tree, opened the coolers for the kids, and sat back. We really did, we sat. And watched the kids play. And talked. Allllllll day. It was glorious.
The kids built sand castles, hustled other kids for their trucks, chased seagulls, ran through the splash pad and swam in the water (nice and shallow, and roped off before it got too deep). I don't know if the stars aligned a certain way today, or if the travel gods just felt inclined to smile upon us, but uncharacteristic to every other outing with the kids, we were treated to a day of sitting back and relaxing together.
|Oh, hey geese.|
I don't remember there being any tears, any fights, any injuries or any whining. I do, however, remember Abby's sweet invitations to come swim with her (that I couldn't possibly pass up), watching Hailey do headstands for crowds of adoring tourists along the boardwalk, Summer's joy at chasing seagulls and Robin's sweet cuddles under the towel, drying off after a cold dip.
I have a few friends and loved ones going through some really heavy, really hard stuff right now. I wondered if I shouldn't go dark here on the blog for a bit, out of respect for their difficulties. I came home today on such a life high, touched in a very real way by the goodness and abundance in my life, that I instead felt called to celebrate. Because for every dark day I have endured, I have been lifted by the joy of others, and delivered the promise of a brighter tomorrow. I will send my love and prayers to those going through rough times, and be there for them in any capacity I can think of. I am happy and blessed in my own life, and that allows me to be there for them in their times of need.
After all, life is only made as complicatedly beautiful as it is by its extremes. It can send us to sorrowful lows, where we grasp at faith, family, anything to keep us afloat when we feel like drowning. But it can also send us to the beach, on a sunny day, with our friends and children to bask under the shade of a cherry tree.