Pohick Bay - Pedal Boating

I know that summer is in full swing here in Virginia. The sweltering heat begins quite early in the day. The humidity hangs like a thick, wet blanket making deep breaths a necessity, at times. Yet, I suddenly feel as light as air (well, not the current summer air), when I catch a glimpse of fall in these lovely, curled up leaves.  Daydreaming aside, today we explored Pohick Bay Park as our Family Home Evening activity, and ended up having quite a little adventure.
We started out with a little harmless, playground fun. Gracie loves running and chasing Daddy through the play structures and following him down the crazy slides. Aaron loves screaming for joy (most often, louder than Gracie), as he pretends to run away from her. It is one of my life's greatest joys to see these two enjoy each other so much.

I asked her to give Mama a kiss and she showed me this face and ran away. A note about this face: my sister and I make this exact same face to this day when we are being silly with each other, and as I was skimming through these pictures, my heart skipped a beat when I glanced at this one. Most of the time, this little girl looks just like her daddy. Once in a blue moon, there is a moment where she looks like me, and this is one of them. Just glad I have photographic evidence to look back and remember. 

 It was already getting too hot to stay outdoors but we hid under some trees, and just enjoyed the view. Gracie saw the boats on the water, and started yelling, "Mama, pool! Pool!"

When I told her that wasn't a pool and we had not come prepared for any water-type activity, I got this excellent pout.

We compromised and I let her throw rocks in the direction of the "pool". In the meantime, Aaron was missing. Nothing surprising there.

He was having the girl who worked there, unhook a paddle boat for us. Gracie, who spotted her daddy, ran up to him, ready to jump in.

That beaming face of his should tell you that he has been asking me to go kayaking for ages, and I refuse each time for too many reasons to list at this moment :) The main reason being that I do not know how to swim, and this fact does not deter my sweet, energetic, fun-loving husband from trying every.single.time.  This time, however, he already had this all set up and all I had to do was slip on life jackets for me and Gracie, and get on this pedal boat.  He won. Hence, the smile.

 Aaron was in heaven - pedaling away, sun beating down on our faces, sweat pouring down our backs, and a toddler who jumped from the front to the back to take in the sights.

Throughout all of this, we taught Gracie about the water and how God created things both on the land and in the water, how there were plants that lived underwater, how fish like Nemo lived in the ocean, how grateful we are to a loving God to provide these things for us, how nature is His way of showing us how much he adores us.  She, occasionally, would repeat things I said, and then, at other times, point to random things like this fun doggie in the water. She kept calling him Woof Woof, and was sad that he didn't hear her. She was straining to jump into the water and pet him or hug him, if he'd let her.

Our stint on the water lasted a short time - the heat and humidity were unbearable, and Gracie was yawning even when we were getting into the boat. So, we got out of the boat quickly after an enjoyable jaunt around the bay. Gracie and I found a cool, shady spot on the sand while Aaron brought the car closer to where we were sitting.

We watched people out on the water, skillfully gliding on the lovely bay. Virginia, truly, is beautiful and will always have a piece of my heart.

Sitting there on the sand, with a little, sweaty, toddler who planted herself on my legs because she did not like having the sand on her bum, I gave silent thanks to a God who watched over me and provided a setting which He knew would be the balm of Gilead to my soul. Nature always has a way of soothing the wrinkles on my heart, and Virginia has that in abundance.  With all the things I have been through lately, both emotionally and physically, that moment, right there on that little beach, with my toddler watching the doggie play in the water, and pouring sand on my legs with a little acorn shell, was exactly what I needed. God whispered to me, "Be still."


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