A recent family trip to northern Michigan reminded me how much beauty there is in our world, sometimes right in front of our very eyes. Sometimes in very small packages, and other times in overwhelming magnificence. It’s also a reminder of how big God is, and how small I really am.
After resting up from the 3-hour kayak trip down the Au Sable and nourishing ourselves with a delicious homemade dinner, we all loaded up in the van and headed over to Houghton Lake to find a good place to watch the sun set. I’ve always loved watching the sun rise and set, and my daughter Josie has taken a real liking to them as well.
Our first stop was at a small, but very well taken care of, park right on the water. The kids enjoyed walking out on a little pier where they took some pictures. It was very windy there and the sun wouldn’t be setting for another hour or so, so we continued our search for just the right spot.
After getting a little frustrated driving longer than I expected and not knowing what we would find, Jen pointed out a public access area which proved to be a winner. There was a large cement slab which turned out to be just the right size for the 6 of us and Teddy. We got there in plenty of time to see the entire sunset, and it was magical. The sun glimmering off the water, the breeze whipping through our hair and just seeing the smiles on the kids faces filled me with joy. I was filled once again with the same peace and calm I had experienced kayaking the Au Sable earlier in the day. It was fun watching all the different boats cruising the lake and hearing the waves crash against the rocks.
Once we returned to the cabin, I immediately changed into my jeans and hoodie to protect against the mosquitos and other flying creatures awaiting me in the backyard around the fire pit. I had the kindling already organized and got a nice blaze going right away. One of the things I love the most about Denny’s cabin and being there is how remarkably quiet it is. You don’t hear cars, or other people, or sirens. Just the beautiful sounds of nature. And the crackling of the wood in the fire.
When I looked up at the sky the first time, I saw some stars and they were beautiful. Away from the bigger towns and cities, I’ve seen some great star shows up here and the clear skies on this night was ready to produce one of the best I’ve ever seen. Every time I looked up into the sky, there were more stars, and every time they were even brighter. I was filled with awe and wonder.
“Only in the darkness can you see the stars.” –Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.
The girls surprised me when they came out and sat with me by the fire for a little while. I wasn’t expecting this at all, so it made the ending to this day even sweeter. They admired the stars as well before heading back into the cabin. The best part of life is sharing experiences like this with family and those you love. New memories were created, which will be forever remembered and never taken away.
What new memories are you creating with your family today? What beauty are you experiencing together?