Last summer Mr. D and I took the kiddos on a little mini vacation after my cousin's wedding in the Chicago area.
The morning after the wedding we loaded 'em up bright and early and headed to the beach. A favorite spot of mine and Mr. D's -- the Warren Dunes in Michigan.
You can read the post from that trip here. We had a great time climbing the dunes, and jumping down them, and hiking, and swimming and hanging out with some dear friends of ours.
I shared several of the pictures from that trip in previous posts. However, I didn't share some of the "best" shots of the activities we experienced that day at the beach.
Here's the behind the scenes/photos story:
Shortly after we arrived at the beach we noticed people walking down the shoreline covered in mud. Some had more mud than others. It wasn't a dirt mud. It was more like a clay. Our friend, Ed, knew all about this "special clay" and where we must go to experience this clay. We followed Ed to a little creek that flows into Lake Michigan.
The water is warm and murky with a clay bottom.
It's a pretty walk down a creek bed.
Before too long we arrive at the great wall.....of clay.
And we see people all around us digging into the wall of clay and smearing the stuff on their bodies -- and each other's bodies. It's crazy I'm tellin' ya.
then suddenly our group is pulled into the ritual and begins to participate with in this odd, yet fun behavior....
They begin to smear mud on themselves and each other. Tribal symbols are created -- like war paint on their bodies.
It's not a testosterone thing -- or an age thing that only the young partake in. Oh no. Gender and age have no boundaries in this crazy ritual.
Painting completed -- they walk out of the clay river bed and proceed to walk down the beach -- a tribe united.
It is tribal bonding and community building.
It's a memory
a memory that I'd bet they would all do again next year!