Summer performs its final act in these next few weeks.
I see the foreshadowing in the orange-tinted maples along the highway. I watch the plot development in my garden: plants are yielding less produce each week. Blooms are brown, spindly or spent. I witness the last chapter as it writes itself: Girl from the West gets up early for the first time in months to attend sophomore orientation. She talks excitedly about the upcoming football season and the homecoming dance. Tomorrow, we take Girl from the East to her first-ever soccer practice.
Knowing that the show is about to end, I grabbed my summer to-do list last weekend and checked off the last item: day at the beach. Sure, there are beaches along our many inland lakes close to home, but they are not worth the entrance fee. To find a good beach, we Michiganders must head to one of the Great Lakes.
Earlier this week we spent the day at Port Crescent State Park, one of my favorite beaches along Lake Huron. It’s a manageable drive from home and well worth the slow sojourn through corn and soy bean farm country. I’ve dreamed all summer of this beach’s fine-grained sandy shores, soft lake bottom free of muck, sharp rocks or seaweed, and its breathtaking views of Michigan’s “thumb.”
We kept it simple: a big blanket, a cooler packed with snacks and water bottles, and a plastic tote stuffed with beach toys. We splashed and swam and threw Frisbees and dodged lapping waves in search of the perfect skipping stones. We dug a hole to the center of the Earth, erected wobbly castles, ate a few sand pies, and battled seagulls for territorial rights.
No matter how tough times are, how many challenges we face, it’s good therapy to take at least one day a month and escape into a world that offers nothing but sensory pleasure.
Beach therapy. Tickets are still available at a shore near you.