Front Porch Conversations: Where Do I Find Joy Where I Live?

The three framed photos in my hallway  give a glimpse of my narrative. As I trek through my daily routine collecting laundry, making trips to the bathroom, and various other tasks, the lighthouses beckon my attention.  A friend took the photos of the three lighthouses several years ago. As a fellow Michigander, he understood the beauty, history, and geographical relevance they represent.

Growing up in southwest Michigan, the lakes contribute to the economy through business and pleasure. My fondest memories include weekend afternoons with family  playing at the beach-a quick half hour drive to relish in hours of sand castle building and seeking refreshment as the warm waves wash over the skin. The beach provided hours of free entertainment.

Transplanted in Illinois as a college student and now a resident, I crave the Michigan beaches.   Perhaps the familiarity is part of it, but they offer a haven away from the noise and stress of “life.” When summer arrives, my heart jumps. The hour and 15 minute drive to my happy places provides an opportunity to be serenaded by the calm, lulling, rhythm of the waves serenading my sun bath. I find joy in escaping into the pages of a book. Yet, as an extrovert, I can simultaneously enjoy the colorful landscape of beach towels and human interaction around me.

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