Labor Day meant an extra day to the weekend, so I spent it with my family out photographing some of the beauty of God’s creation. The weather forecast was for a cloudy day with good chances of rain but that didn’t stop us from exploring some of the shoreline of Lake Michigan on our way home from Traverse City. It was “vacation”, so we slept in a little bit before getting breakfast to start our day. After leaving Traverse City, we began our day’s journey at the northern end of Sleeping Bear Dunes National Lakeshore. The clouds were heavy and we encountered a few random sprinkles at our first stop, but we took our rain jackets along and made the half-mile hike up the wooded dune to get an incredible view of Lake Michigan. Susan was able to ride in her wheelchair most of the way up, but there was a section that was too steep for me to push her so she had to walk some of it. She was then able to ride the whole way down back to the truck — which was more just me having to hold the wheelchair back than my doing any pushing.
From there, we did some exploring and found some great lake level views of the approaching storm. The rain eventually came but the views of the lake were still amazing. After leaving the National Lakeshore, we started making lighthouse stops the rest of the way home. Today’s photo was at one of those stops — this one while it was still raining. Even with, and perhaps because of, the raindrops on the camera lens, I loved the beauty of the colors in this shot. The sky was looking dark and stormy while the water was looking warm and tropical. The waves were coming in hard against the seawall and the raindrops were collecting on my camera lens. I suppose it helps that I was there, but this is one of those photos that makes me feel like I’m right back there again.
Our final stop of the day, before home, came as the sun was rapidly approaching the horizon. The rain had moved through and was replaced by the clear skies you can get a glimpse of in the distance of today’s photo. But even with clear skies, there was a haze in the sky that would overtake the sun well before the official sunset. Some of it was clouds moving back in, but much of it was smoke that was in the atmosphere from the wild fires out west. It was a beautiful end to the day, and to our little adventure, even though there was still an hour drive left before we made it home. While it is great to be able to see and photograph the beauty that surrounds us, it is always good to be home.
As I reflect on the day, here are some thoughts/lessons that stand out to me:
- Have I mentioned recently how much I enjoy having times when my family and I can get away from usual routines and photograph?
- It is always interesting to see what each of us photograph — both to see how we capture similar scenes and to see what one noticed that the other didn’t.
- When I have the opportunity to go out and photograph and the weather forecast isn’t ideal, I always remember that when I worked on a commercial roofing crew my boss would often say, “If we stayed home every time the forecast wasn’t favorable, we wouldn’t get much work done.”
- Ideal means different things to different people. The “ideal” that really matters is how God would define it when it comes to my life and actions.
- Some of the greatest rewards in life come after a great amount of work, yet sometimes God rewards us greatly “just because”.
- While we may think it would be nice to have a life where we could just take it easy and coast, it is actually much more difficult to stay on track when momentum wants to carry you places you shouldn’t go.
- Sometimes beauty is more difficult to see than at other times — that doesn’t mean that it isn’t there.
- As we travel this earth on our journey of life, it is always good to remember that there is no place like home.