Sunday, August 10, 2014

Beach Therapy

I left my garden behind for a few days, and headed north towards "home". Even though I live in Ohio these days, the beaches of St. Joseph Michigan will always be my real home. I know there are a lot of people like me out there, people who love being on the beach. But I often wonder if the beach calls to them the way that Lake Michigan does to me.

I answer the call a few times a year, and it won't be silenced till my feet are in this sand and my toes hit the waves. That's when I know that I am truly home.

It's not that I am a sun bather. I just need to "be" there. I have to hear the waves crashing and feel the sand beneath my feet. I might just sit and watch the horizon. I might walk the shore collecting rocks. I might just grab my book and read. And I'll definitely take lots and lots of pictures.

Now St. Joseph has more appeal to me than just beaches. There are art galleries, charming shops, wineries, restaurants, and even old friends to see. Still, it's the lighthouse and sand dunes that call the loudest. And if it's sunset, well, all the better.

Often times, the lake breeze is chilly, even in summer. As the sun goes down, there is often quite a chill in the air. But it doesn't matter. I can sit there for hours, just watching the sky, lining up photos, and waiting for the perfect shot.

It's funny, but with all the pictures I've taken there, you'd think I would have nailed The Shot by now. Nope. I have a lot of great shots that I love dearly, but there's always the possibility of an even better one.

So I keep trying, and gladly. After all, the time spent at the beach taking picture is not exactly wasted time. It soothes my soul just to be there. I've seen so many beach quotes on Pinterest, and I'll nod my head when I read them. My favorite is "You can shake the sand from your shoes, but it will never leave your soul". Yes, yes, yes! That has me written all over it.

I've tried to figure out just why this place is so special to me, but there is no easy answer. So I just go with it. A few hours by car, and I can be there once more.
I don't think it's possible for me to be unhappy in this place. Even a windy, stormy, rainy day will be not keep me away.

But lucky for me, the weather was fine this time. A little cool, but it doesn't matter. Even a simple sunset like the one below is special to me here. And simple sunsets have a way of surprising you....
....turning into this.....
....and finally this. Just think, I was about to leave the simple sunset when it changed into this.
So if you are looking for me in my garden, and it seems a little quiet, you'll know where to find me.
Just head north to St. Joseph Michigan.
Listen for the crashing waves.
And wait till sunset, then you'll surely find me back "home" again.





17 comments:

  1. Your photos are fabulous and the scenery so beautiful I was waiting to see what body of water provided such beauty. We all have our childhood memories that call to us. For us here, it is the Rocky Mountains, the high altitude thin air, the wild flowers, the serenity. So yes we understand your call to the beach. The sunsets are gorgeous.

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    1. That lovely body of water is Lake Michigan! Those who aren't familiar with it, are always surprised to find out just how large and powerful it is. Yes, it has waves, and yes it has lighthouses. Lake Michigan is more like a small sea!

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  2. Beautiful scenery and photos. I can see why you love it there. So breathe taking!

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    1. Thank you Kelli! I'm sure that Ireland is beyond gorgeous, but my kind of beach is completely different than you are used to. I don't live near Lake Michigan anymore, but it's where I grew up, and I try to get back there often.

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  3. I never realized just how beautiful Michigan was until I started reading your blog Robin. I feel the same way about the beach, so I completely understand. It's harder for me to get home so lucky for you to be able to drive there in only a few hours. It's absolutely gorgeous. I think my soul could be restored here too.

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    1. Kathleen, there are many people who don't quite understand just how beautiful that Michigan can be. It's especially difficult to convince the people of Ohio, because they are prejudiced about the football rivalry! I think that's a pretty silly reason to dis an entire state.

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  4. I can see why you love it! Being a beach lover also, I can feel the sand and surf and those breathtaking sunsets. Your photos are extraordinary. Are you sure that last pic wasn't The Shot ?

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    1. Thank you very much Deb, but it's easy to take great shots with such great material to work with. I have to admit that the shot you mention is one of my all time favorites. I had it blown up, and now hangs over my bed!

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  5. 'I just need to be there'- it's about me! How beautiful!!! Your images are wonderful, Robin! Good thing is we were kayaking yesterday, otherwise I'd run to the water right now!

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    1. Ah, so you understand how I feel about being at the beach. Do you know that I read once that humans are highly attracted to viewing the horizon? So that explains it!

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  6. Living on the ocean almost all of my life, I never understood the allure of the great lakes...that was until I started to blog. There are miles and miles of endless shores, beauty, and water never ending in those lakes...while the ocean still has my heart, I can understand the love for these lakes.

    Jen

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    1. It's best not to associate the Great Lakes with those other little mud puddle type lakes, they are NOTHING alike! I often say that Lake Michigan is more like the sea. And the miles and miles of beaches that surround them are such a hidden gem. But perhaps I want to keep it all to myself!

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  7. What breathtaking photos! It looks like such a beautiful place, no wonder you have the urge to visit.

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    1. Thank you Paula, of course I highly agree! I grew up there, and I've never lost my love for it.

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  8. As you know, I love the beach too, and Lake Michigan will always be "home" to me too, since I have spent most of my life in the Chicago suburbs and grew up going to the beach with my Grandma, then my sister (when we were teens), and then with my hubby when we were dating. And I'm so glad that Brian and I got a chance to visit St Joseph last year...I agree with you that it's a beautiful, charming, fun place. Your photos are so lovely.

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    1. I'm so pleased that you enjoyed your visit there! I would have been so disappointed if you hadn't! I'm so prejudiced after growing up there, but I try to look at it realistically. And if I'm honest, it really is that great.

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  9. I am glad I made it here to read this post. Your photos are awesome! My husband and I went to the Outer Banks in 2007, the last time we took a vacation. I had wanted to see an ocean, and am thankful we got to go. Yes, Lake Michigan looks more like an ocean than any lakes around here. I can see how you are drawn to go back to get recharged.

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