my neice lyla – she’s the sparkliest little girl there ever was – often uses the phrase “for real life.” as in – are we really going to bear lake? for real life? or charity is my favourite aunt – for real life.
this year, lyla’s parents were in charge of planning and executing our annual bear lake eyrealm reunion. they chose “for real life” as the theme for our four days together, encouraging us all to think about what is really real, and what that means for how we see the world and live our lives.
pretty nearly the absolute realest thing, for me in my existence, is the love i feel for these 42 people.
…and also for that place, which is sewn up with millions of memories and much of my identity.
to be there with them was the best. for real life.
highlights include (many more pictures coming!):
-cheering welcome parties as people arrived
-beach bonfire and sparklers and music
-playing on the new “grandchildrens’ green” – a long luscious lawn put in this summer
-magnificent sunsets and majestic storms changing the colors of the world
-a cut-throat final match in the traditional mixed-doubles tennis tournament
-waterskiing and sailing and canoeing and paddle boarding and swimming
-incredible food every meal
-making a music video together
-adults laughing and children crying in fear factor, round 2 (quite a few throwups this year)
-teams running across the finish line together in our 11-mile, all-42-participated “real life relay”
-family testimony meeting on the dingle church lawn
-fantastic talent show acts by groups of cousins
-starry nights and balmy mornings
-sending off paper lanterns into the twilight (magic amidst chaos)
-several really awesome discussions, including one on our last night wrapped up in blankets on the deck
-witnessing the baptism of our pseudo-sister eva’s son london
-breakfast at the lighthouse overlooking the lake and the mountains
-sharing my favourite people and my favourite place with my favourite boy