Tuesday, April 03, 2012

in search of the perfect day - wales day 2

IMG_7969Jeff says I’m a Platonist.  He says that I’m always in search of the perfect day -that I have this belief rooted deep down inside of me that says that there is an ideal day out there and I have to find it.  Especially when the stakes are high and we’re off on an adventure.   While this search often leads me to second guess every little decision I make (maybe that first restaurant would have been better for us than this one we found after checking out the menu at 6 different places)  and feel frustrated in a heap of unmet expectations – every once in a while it places us smack dab in the middle of a utterly perfect day. 

And that’s what happened on day two of our trip to Wales.

It was Sunday and we got up in our cute little cottage and went out for a walk before heading to church.  As we set out we had no idea that we had plopped ourselves in the middle of such a breathtaking place.  We walked up a little country road to where it joined into the Pembrokeshire Coastal path (miles and miles of breathtaking trails along the coast of southern wales). 

IMG_7970The kids were in a mood.  A good mood.  A cohooting, imagining, flower picking, hand-holding, harmonious mood.  I love that mood.IMG_7973IMG_7976IMG_7979The walk was mostly peaceful and at every turn we were greeted with more loveliness. IMG_7966IMG_7987IMG_7989IMG_7991IMG_8014IMG_7998IMG_8001IMG_8004IMG_8010You get the idea.  It was a perfect Sunday stroll.  You can’t help but feel the Spirit of God surrounded by His glory. IMG_8012Church was delightful.  A tiny little branch, warm and welcoming.  A little boy greeted us as we walked in and in his charming welsh accent told us that we “came on the right day…..munch and mingle day.”  After the meeting we chatted with people about the area and the church there.  I love being able to go to church anywhere in the world and have instant fellowship as we worship with new friends.IMG_8048Next we went to Pembroke Castle.  It wasn’t quite the ruined castle as Carreg Cennen, but it was pretty spectacular.  We were nearly the only ones there and we ran wild, exploring every inch.  IMG_8017

IMG_8019IMG_8023IMG_8024IMG_8027IMG_8030Peter took a little nap in his stroller and we kept a close eye on him from the castle walls.  IMG_8031IMG_8034IMG_8039There was a cave underneath this castle too, though it wasn’t nearly as small or dark or scary like our ruined castle.  IMG_8042IMG_8049


And last we stumbled upon this amazing beach.  And we had it all to ourselves.IMG_8052IMG_8055IMG_8058We walked and climbed on rocks and searched for beach treasures.IMG_8064IMG_8067We marveled at the details of God’s creations. IMG_8074IMG_8075IMG_8077IMG_8078Hazel took these pictures.  I love the one up above with Jeff and Emmeline in the background.  That is so typical Emmeline these days.  That girl is a handful.

And then below is me with little Peter who is nearly always content to be a little monkey on my back.  IMG_8082IMG_8087IMG_8088We took the scenic (and also the only) route back to our little cottage.  We drove by this beach called Freshwater West.  Apparently there have been a bunch of movies filed here, including a scene from on of the Harry Potter movies.  I wanted so much to get out and run and explore, but Jeff convinced me that getting all the hungry tired kids out of car would ruin an otherwise perfect day.  I think he was spot on.IMG_8091IMG_8095So I just enjoyed the view from the car.

A walk, church, a castle and the beach.  All packed into one perfectly crystally day.

It’s funny, as I lived through this day I didn’t see it as very perfect, I was fettered with the details of making decisions and executing logistics.  There were moments, lots of them this particular day, that stopped time and felt perfect, but they were quickly followed by the reality that is all part of the 4 little kid bundle: snotty noses, hungry stomachs, tired legs.  It is only now, looking at these pictures that I realize the day couldn’t have been more ideal.   I’m trying to figure out how to recognize and honor perfection (and imperfection for that matter) in the moment. 

Any ideas?


  1. This is a perfect blog post too. Love it!

    As Tal would quote, "Loving what is."


  2. Looks like a perfect day to me! Love the clenched hands in the second picture and the composition of the beaches with only Shumway footprints and the beauty of a lonely castle stormed by ecstatic kids.

    Perfect day indeed!

  3. Thinking about a perfect day...
    You are such an example to me of finding beauty and joy in the moments of life and places on earth. Perhaps the realization of a perfect day can most easily be viewed through the perspective of looking back. That makes it all the more important to live, love, laugh, appreciate, soak in the momenets of life. (of which you are so apt) Today could be the perfect day.

  4. This is probably one that a lot of people don't agree with- but I find when I take less pictures- when I focus less on trying to label, pinpoint and box up the perfect day that I am having (or am trying to have) things unfold more naturally. I am in the moment more, instead of trying to capture all the little perfect moments and end up missing them myself. Some of my favorite memories are only captured by one semi-blurry snapshot that I took at the end of very long, wonderful day but the experience was far more meaningful than the lost pictures.

    That's not to say I never bring my camera- we have thousands and thousands or pics from the nice camera, iphone, point and shoot, etc. as I usually do take pictures of whatever we do. Some trips I already plan to try to capture a lot with my camera and spend time working with settings, etc. and I love those pictures and those days too. But I have found recently that trying to document every part of every day / adventure sometimes takes away from my ability to truly soak it in and so I put the camera down, get up and go play with those rascals I was trying to capture so perfectly.

  5. I found your blog from Saren's. I have to say how envious (I know I shouldn't be but can't help it!) of your adventure!! I have been to England and Wales twice and am absolutely in love with that land! I would so love to take my family and explore like this. Enjoy every moment because you won't remember the snotty noses and hungry tummies, you will remember the feelings and the adventure! I also agree with taking less photos, just enjoy the moments.

  6. Your life is beautiful! BEAUTIFUl!



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