Word of the Week: Halcyon

halcyon  /adj./  calm, peaceful, tranquil.   rich, wealthy, prosperous.  happy, joyful.  carefree.  bucolic.  idyllic.  contented.  unruffled.  golden.

halcyon  /adj./  1.  Halcyon is just the perfect word to describe our days in Michigan.  The weather is perfect and my kids have spent hours and hours just playing.  I know that doesn't sound like much, but it's so good for them and so good for me.  We wake late, we eat late, we go to the movies when we want, we take turns in the swing outside, we wonder what day it is and marvel at what time it is.  These are the carefree, halcyon days I have dreamed about for nine months.


halcyon  /adj./  2.  We took a trip up to Northern Michigan at the end of last week and spent a few halcyon hours on the beach of Lake Michigan in the Upper Peninsula, just a few miles over the bridge.  The water is ice cold, but the kids don't mind a bit and even I got in for a while.  The beaches are just what you would imagine (or at least just what I would imagine) with sand drifts and grasses making bunkers along the shoreline to protect you from the wind.  My kids can spend hours at the beach doing absolutely nothing, a quality I desperately love and wholly appreciate.



Sorry for all these pictures.  David asked this morning, "How are you going to choose?"  How indeed.  I had 285 pictures on my camera after the weekend...I need to do a slide show, but don't have the technology in my current location...


Can you see the bridge in the background?  David will want me to point out that it is 5 miles long and the only thing connecting upper and lower Michigan...aren't you glad you know that?

halcyon  /adj./  3.  We camped for three nights at a campground just outside of Mackinac City, so that we could take the ferry over to Mackinac Island for a couple of days.  Our camping experience wasn't completely carefree as we battled 6-foot-long mosquitoes and lots of rain at night.  But David cleaned the camp store out of bug repellent and the inside of our tent stayed relatively dry, so we managed alright.  When we woke Saturday morning it was still raining a bit, so we stayed in the tent and played a game of "Bohnanza" (our new favorite game) amid the sleeping bags and pillows, a rare halcyon morning in our pajamas.  The rain slowed everything down and this turned out to be a great blessing, until it was time to pack up our soggy campsite. 


halcyon  /adj./  4.  We spent two days on Mackinac Island, the most halcyon spot on earth.  We rode the ferry over from Mackinac City on Friday and Saturday and had two absolutely perfect days there.  There are no cars on the island and so we took the kids' bikes and rented a tandem bike for David and me, and rode our way around the island.  I honestly think this is the happiest I am all year...watching my children ride their bikes along a tree-lined path, with Lake Huron on one side and the sun shining over everything.  It reminds me of the carefree halcyon days I read about in books as a child, like The Five Little Peppers.  A quiet, schedule-free, hustle-and-bustle-free world that my children have never known.  We spent our days there doing lots of nothing: riding our bikes, skipping rocks, swimming in Lake Huron, getting lemonades at the Cannonball, visiting the library, eating lunch at the Grand Hotel, flying our kite, playing croquet, eating fudge and hamburgers on the lawn, taking an old-time beach photo, looking for Petosky stones on the beach, laying on the grass at Mission Point.  I always tell David, "Next time let's spend a week."  I hope someday we can. 


Here we are at mile marker 6...only eight miles around the whole island.  This is only state road in Michigan where cars are not allowed.



halcyon  /adj./  5.  From Mackinac we went to Petosky for church (you should have seen the looks we got coming out of the camp showers in our suits and dresses!!)  and then through Charlevoix (which I love!) and onto Traverse City where we stayed at the Wolf Lodge.  The kids had a great time playing in their indoor water park and we played a few more hundred rounds of Bohnanza.  I slept for almost 12 hours and David woke me up 10 minutes before check-out and said, "Guess what time it is?"  We scrambled to get our stuff together and then rented a cabana for the rest of the day at the waterpark, a halcyon way to spend the day there...we could play games and eat and talk and the kids would come and check in every once in a while and then run off to go down another slide or jump across the lily pads. 


halcyon  /adj./  6.  These past 10 days have been like being in someone else's life.  I watch my kids on the beach or riding their bikes and I just marvel that they are mine.  David and I came to Mackinac Island on our honeymoon, thirteen years ago, and though the halcyon days of early marriage are far behind us, I can see how there are even better days than those to live right now, and many more ahead of us.  I remember riding our tandem bike around the island when it was just the two of us, and then last year I was astounded to look behind me and see four little people riding behind us.  When did that happen?  And this year I was completely humbled to see these same little people riding ahead of us, already knowing where to go and what they wanted to see.  What in the world?  It's hard to catch my breath as I watch my past and present collide right in front of me.   These moments are so big for me, like giant chunks of eternity falling around me and my arms just aren't big enough to hold them all.