“The heart of a father is the masterpiece of nature.”
― Antoine François Prévost d’Exiles
I call this series of photos from Christmas day 2017, “Unconditional Love.”
We have had subzero temperatures in the Upper Peninsula of Michigan, but that has not stopped my husband John from building an ice rink in our backyard for Lukas. While Lukas has ice time twice a week at the Lakeview Arena in Marquette, Michigan – what little boy doesn’t dream of having his own backyard rink?
I watched him, like countless time before, from the warmth of our home. He didn’t know I was watching. The light this early evening was brilliant and the air was crystal cold. Most people would be inside, but not him. The chickens needed water and the ice rink needed another layer from the garden hose.
A labor of love. Love of his children, nature, and animals. An artist, not taming the wildness of Michigan, but helping to transform it into something even more beautiful.
Our life is not perfect. We have moments – we have trials and tribulations. Sometimes our present is dictated by past mistakes we have made. Yet, the future is ours to weave out of the wilderness of our hearts. Fresh open spaces. Raw and real.
It is moments like this that I try to capture. When I tell the kids to come to the window and watch with me. Moments like this that I pray that Avalon and Lukas remember. The things that their dad does out of unconditional love in even bitter conditions. His hope that their life is rich – and honest – and simple – and full of wild, beauty.
A life carved out of ice, sunshine, rocks, green spaces, branches, wagging tails, flocks of birds, and love.
Sometimes we make mistakes and have to say “I’m Sorry.” Sometimes we have to push past the pain and try again.
Unconditionally. We are proud to call this resourceful, Renaissance man ours. Thank you for the legacy you are crafting.
I ordered the watch from Eli Adams Jewelers. It’s gorgeous and their customer service was excellent.