Northern Michigan is a singularly incredible place, with perfect quiet unlike anything I can find in a city and the kind of cool, clear air I drink in, in gulps.
We slow the car to park, climb out from four hours of anticipation and we are here. Views of the lake and waves crashing against rocks. Last night, the cold water still beckoned, two of my kids leaning in for each crash of waves, no matter how cool and fierce the white caps were.
Of course, part of the beauty of this particular vacation is the cousins. My children and their six first cousins throw and catch baseballs, splash and swim together, play mini golf, score sugar cereals at the breakfast buffet.
But northern Michigan isn’t special for the people who come here – although I will say that the people who work here are so kind and welcoming. And those who live here can be more poetic than most, probably because of the beauty of their everyday surroundings.
The magic to northern Michigan is in the terrain. The sky seems to meet the ground here, and the sky has hues I’ve never seen back home: pinks and purples at sunrise, many shades of blue and yellow at sunset. And the puffy clouds – as if hand-spun.
The spectacle of the lake, something to behold. The possibility in a simple morning walk. The poetry that lives on the air. And the perfect polished stones kissed by lake water over and over again – you don’t see these kinds of flat soothing stones in most parts of the world.
It’s wonderful when you can love the place you’re from. Rather than wish you lived somewhere else or lament the condition of your state, it is the brilliance of loving this place, this moment.
Nothing is perfect. But a week in northern Michigan surely comes pretty close.