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big water, big questions, beautiful day

Late afternoon kicking around Marquette, we take to the road and drive east along the lake front. It is a chilly 58 degrees but Lake Superior calls to us, drawing us near. We arrive at Au Train beach just off M-28 as the cover of fog is lifting. I am struck by the geography of the Au Train river as it cuts its final path across the sand beach, fog clinging to the surface of the still water edging its way to the Lake. A placid meandering presence on the southeasterly edge of the beach, the river makes for a calm warm respite from the chilly choppy waters of Lake Superior to the north. But warm or cold, this is of no matter to Aidan. He sees the sand and the water and bolts for it, leaving Chris and I clumsily eating our sandwiches from the tailgate of the Jeep. “I’ll eat later, Mom, I gotta check this out!” he calls, already halfway to the water.

Toes kicking through the sand, chasing gulls, and splashing in the surf, Aidan is content for hours as we are here now taking it all in–all of it. We don’t have swimsuits; we thought the chilly temps would keep us from swimming but have forgotten the nature of our son. Neither icy water nor lack of swim trunks keeps him dry. Kicking and splashing one moment, standing and staring the next, Aidan loves the water. He does yoga in the surf–downward facing dog and now crab; he is part of it all–the earth, the water, the sky.

[audio: prairie.mp3]A song that reminds me…

Watching Aidan, stretch up toward the sun his hair hanging wet, I confide to Chris that it’s during these blissful, accidental moments of our lives that I catch glimpses of the whole thing, as if from above, watching life unfold–past, present, future. Before that great lake with the whispering sand beneath my feet, the wonders of my family, my son, the love of my wife and best friend, I feel very small in it all–like a passing instant in the unfathomable span of eternity. What does this moment right here right now mean? Who will remember it? Big waters and still minds bring big questions… It overwhelms me… For now, I will settle for this beautiful day.

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