My niece and her family came for a visit last weekend.
She and her husband have three small, adorable blonde-haired boys.
Years ago, we, too, brought our three adorable blonde haired boys to this beach. (Twenty five years later, they still come, but they are not quite as small or blonde or adorable.)
As I watched those boys play in the water and on the sand, I couldn’t help but be nostalgic. I grew pensive about the repetitive cycles of life and of the timelessness of this beach where new generations return to do the same things over and over.
Here’s a picture of my boys playing, twenty five years ago.
Here are a few of my niece’s boys, two days ago.
And to prove the timelessness of this place, here are pictures of me with my siblings and grandfather. ( Almost sixty years ago.)
We came each summer to dig trenches, toss stones, swim in the cold water. In the simple, rustic cabin, we played all day with only a few toys, but we had all the time in the world and the rich attention of people who loved us.
We grew up, and then we brought our children here to do the same things we had done. Like my grandparents did, my children’s grandparents delighted in them; their cousins, like mine, became best friends. And the beach and the water and the sky made us all into people that both need and appreciate the space to be contemplative. It made us feel at home in anywhere that’s green. It made us people that know that the best things in life aren’t things that can be bought.
I love that new kids come here. I love that no matter how cold the lake, it’s still fun to dig in the sand with shovels and let water wash over your feet.
It’s good to come back to a place that is simple. It’s good to let an aunt hold you. It’s good to play on an ages-old beach beneath a blazing sun.