Sunday, December 12, 2010

A Day Well Spent

The family took a drive to Bath, MI yesterday, to spend the afternoon on Hazel Ridge FarmThis has become somewhat of a tradition for us each HRF is the home of Robbyn and Giljsbert (Nick) van Frankenhuyzen. (He is the illustrator for several Sleeping Bear Press books, including the official Michigan Children's book, The Legend of Sleeping Bear.)
We picked up Cote and Eric along the way, and the six of us spent a laid-back three hours exploring the farm and the surrounding 40 acres (wooded trails and grassy meadows). We lingered over the painted originals hanging on the barn/studio walls, and drank hot apple cider while eating too many homemade buckeyes. We dared and dodged snowballs outside, using the trees and each other (and occasionally total strangers), as our protective shields. We laughed, and joked, and enjoyed our family, as we walked in wonder.
I have two favorite spots on this property......Nick's studio (especially the corner where his desk sits, with his paints, brushes, sketches all around), and the family's cabin which is nestled inside a cove of hefty pine trees, on the edge of a small frozen pond.

The studio inspires me to 

pursue my own 
passion.......writing. And the cabin inspires me to excavate and reveal and yes, even clutter up, my real life a bit.
The studio connection is easy to understand......seeing someone else use their God-given talents, and obviously loving what they do, encourages others to follow their own dreams.
But the cabin......this is a magical place that is almost too unique to describe in words. It is a one-room, rustic collage of a family's life lived with color, imagination, and no edge lines. They decorated the small space by their own rules, their own expectations, and the result is a place that vividly tells their story, without anyone having to utter a single word.....the cabin reads like a worn-out favorite book, of a family that has lived, breathed, and become in a tiny little space no bigger than most people's bathrooms.

Inside the cabin


If you ever get a chance to visit Hazel Ridge, go. Robbyn and Nick are warm and inviting, and as real as it gets. They host a Holiday Open House every year, usually the second weekend in December. The public is invited. But, I promise, you'll feel like family by the time you say goodbye.

Powerful Words

Your children are not your children.
They are the sons and daughters of Life's longing for itself.
They come through you but not from you,
And though they are with you yet they belong not to you.

You may give them your love but not your thoughts,
For they have their own thoughts.
You may house their bodies but not their souls,
For their souls dwell in the house of tomorrow,
which you cannot visit, not even in your dreams.
You may strive to be like them,
but seek not to make them like you.
For life goes not backward nor tarries with yesterday.

You are the bows from which your children
as living arrows are sent forth.
The archer sees the mark upon the path of the infinite,
and He bends you with His might
that His arrows may go swift and far.
Let your bending in the archer's hand be for gladness;
For even as He loves the arrow that flies,
so He loves also the bow that is stable. ~Kahlil Gibran