wearing flipflops, our feet weren’t prepared for schoolhouse beach. one of only five sandless limestone beaches in the world, we were picking our way across glacier-polished rocks on washington island, vowing to wear our hiking sandals the next time. it was stunning, these smooth white rocks representing thousands of years of geology. it is illegal to take even the tiniest of stones from this beach, but it is obvious that people need to hold these silken rocks in their hands, cairns built along the water’s edge. it’s a place you will forever recognize once having visited there, a place that touches a sense of peace within you.
the cairns up on the high ridges of red rock were equally as moving. stunning in the sunsetting high desert sky, the uneven sandstone edges of stones were piled in formations and i relished every second sharing this with my cherished daughter. it is a sacred place, these canyonlands full of red rock millions of years old.
as we walked in the drizzle in our neighborhood, the sky over the lake began to take on a pinkish hue. we approached the lakefront down by the old beachhouse and saw them, something in thirty years of walking this lakefront i have never seen: dozens of cairns stacked on the rocky beach, mazes, tiny labyrinths.
inspiring and inviting, the cairns beckoned us and we spent time in raindrops wandering and photographing. we were quiet; you could hear the lake gently lapping at the shoreline. mostly, it took us out of our thoughts and worries of the time. someone had made lemonade and we had the good fortune to sip of it.