In the 3 summers that Shane and I have been together we have swum in Lake Michigan during the summer only once and it was with my family during family camp. We always mean to go. In fact, every summer we tell ourselves that this is the year we’ll go. This summer we will go to the beach! At least once! And then… we don’t. It gets too hot and too crowded and we get too busy.
Of course there is more to enjoying the Lake than swimming in it. We like to hike the dunes in the early spring and late fall, and last year we even tried to go to the kite festival in Grand Haven.
And yet. The number one reason we say we stay in West Michigan, one of the biggest arguments we have for not wanting to move, is that we love that lake. Just like Homer’s Sirens, the call of Lake Michigan appeals to my spirit and not to my flesh.
In early January Shane and I made a list of things we wanted to do this year. Not quite resolutions or behavior changes but events. Big things that we knew we were going to have to work towards. Buy a house. Get a dog. Do a pull up. And then I added “Go to the Lake once a month.” That’s the kind of year I wanted to have.
We had been talking all week about going to lake on this particular Sunday in January, but the reality is it’s cold out in January and we still had to grocery shop and do laundry and prepare for the week. Before we even got out of bed Shane was trying to talk me out of it and I was whining about having to go and also about how if we didn’t go we never would. Until Shane said, “Get up. Get out of bed, get dressed right now and let’s go to the Lake.” And we did. Jeans over pajama pants and two pairs of leggings, hats over unbrushed hair and two coffee mugs to go.
We posed in front of the red door of the snack shop where Shane worked as a kid before walking the short trail to the Lake. It was cold and windy and absolutely beautiful and exactly what we needed.
As we walked back to the car I slipped my hand into Shane’s coat pocket and said, “If you admit that this was kind of awesome then I’ll admit it was kind of miserable.”
“Ok,” he said. “It was.”
“Yeah,” I said. “It was.”