Our family has accidentally started a tradition. Every year, on Memorial Day, we take a hike–literally. It began, I think, when we were at a reunion for my husband’s family in Gatlinburg one year (an experience in itself) and hiked in the Great Smoky Mountains National Park. Each year since then, we find somewhere to take the family on Memorial Day morning, before it gets too ridiculously hot, and we enjoy some time out-of-doors.
My husband served in Iraq twice, so we know something about Memorial Day. Being together, someplace serene and beautiful, enjoying the bounty of God’s creation, is the best way I can think to spend a day set aside to remember those who have made sacrifices so that we have the freedom to be together and safe.
With our little ones still pretty little, it’s a whole other experience than hiking when we were in college. It’s not about getting there, it’s about being there. There were bird calls to be quiet for, and lizards to see, and flowers to spot from far away. There were crumbling trees knocked down by winds we never felt, and tiny ants going about their work, because ants don’t take holidays.
There were fish to spot in the waterfalls and creeks. And accessories to wear. One must always remember to accessorize when one hikes.
By the end of the loop, we were pretty sweaty. It was a new hike for us, one located up near the house we’re hoping to buy–we put in an offer on Friday, and have been anxiously wondering if we’ll beat out the (pretty stiff) competition and win our Dream House this week. Taking the children and wandering the woods for a couple of hours was the perfect way to distract ourselves from trying to guess what our future will bring, and simply enjoy being together. Like that line from You Can’t Take It With You when the dad prays over the evening meal: “Well, Sir, here we are again. We’ve had quite a time of it lately, but it seems that the worst of it is over. Course, the fireworks all blew up, but we can’t very well blame that on You. Anyway, everything’s turned out fine, as it usually does… We’ve all got our health; as far as anything else is concerned, we still leave that up to You.” I’d love to have more days to remind me to keep it all in perspective, and to have faith that it always seems to work out in the end.
Hope all of you enjoyed a lovely weekend with those you love!