A day of amazing grace, God’s glorious grace…that was today. This nature girl sought after treasures today with my mini-adventurers in the bountiful beauty of southern Utah.
The drive itself lent to peace and calm as we sang along to our favorites. Arriving late morning in St. George we headed straight for our first destination…Snow Canyon State Park. Black lava boulders collided with bushels of deep green cedar with pops of sunny yellow wild blooms just opposite the fiery red bluffs.
We hiked the petrified sand dunes but not without first finding Hannah’s favorite cedar tree from years past, fondly named “bushy”. She and tree seem to be growing at a similar rate through the years. Head to tree tip they stood nearly the same height yet again. Next the kids took off to rock climb a rugged cliff. I stood at the base as they navigated it together, until they were stuck and called for me. From the bottom it didn’t look so bad but mama climbed and quickly became petrified like the cliffs themselves, yet trying to calmly assist them the rest of the way up. We pushed each other figuratively and literally to the top.
It was such a symbolic moment of how many moments lately have been a push just to get through.
Looking down the side of the cliff.
After lunch we made our way northeast to the other side of St. George to Quail Creek Reservoir. It always takes a few stops to decide where you want to hang out for awhile, so after a quick stop at a shoreline that was murky, we found another spot. The only way down, thought the eight-year-old boy, was to slide down on his bottom…they enjoyed that immensely while I found another way, so as not to ruin my new yoga pants. 😉
We hiked awhile and then found a spot worth our time. In our hiking I was excited to find that Utah also has a similar blooming beaver tail cactus, just as beautiful but a more thorny variety. We scrambled our way down the boulders to a rocky shore. They kicked off their shoes to dink their feet, while I sat in the tender, cool breeze that caressed my face and shoulders. Nearly in a doze with happiness of nature, my kids satisfied, and all the beauty surrounding me, I accepted this contentment despite all that seems to be amiss in my life. It was grace uninhibited, relentless grace from my Father.
Thinking the day was over and we should start home we began to climb back up to our trusty steed. At the truck the kids convinced me in all their cuteness that I should drive another hour back to the other side of St. George to Pine Valley for their most favorite ice cream in all the planet. Pine Valley had been on our radar before the trip but a notice on their website said the state park was closed til May. The ice cream shop located just outside the state park could be closed too, but it was worth the drive to find out. To our delight the ice cream shop was open and we indulged ourselves, me having the tiniest ice cream cone we’ve ever seen!
Back on the road now toward home, the day was full. Full of memories to last a lifetime and if they said “thank you mom for doing this today” once they said it ten times. All of our hearts were full. Somewhere south of Mesquite, Caleb decided the sunset was beautiful and wanted to capture it with the phone from the fast-moving car. He did a wonderful job and it was beautiful…all of it was beautiful. It was a good Good Friday indeed.