the feeling’s forever

In my teen years, I was ashamed that I was from Michigan. California was so much cooler. I wished I was from there. I used to wonder why anyone would ever want to live in Michigan.

The Great Lakes state is something to be proud of, for sure. I grew up vacationing with my family on Lakes St. Clair, Huron, and Michigan. On the east side, the water was always cold, the shores rocky. A friend from California made fun of that once – and it stuck. I was temporarily derailed. Now I understand, our waters run deep. We have so many colors to offer in Michigan.

I used to think that I wanted to live in a perfectly controlled environment, wherein each day was 70º and mostly sunny. But I now realize that I rely on the weather changes that Michigan offers. You’ve likely seen the memes that you can wake up and put on pants and a sweater, go swimming comfortably in the afternoon and need a parka in the evening. Yup. It’s no joke. 100% true. And I love it.

I get antsy toward the end of any season. I’m ready to put away one wardrobe for another. Wearing the same clothes all year would be so dull. One summer as I was packaging away my winter-wear, I thought I’d keep a few lighter weight tunics, in case there were cooler days. Yea, never needed those. What seems light weight in the winter is way too thick for the summer.

We commonly ask friends, “what’s your favorite season?” I’m a spring/fall girl. I don’t like to sweat (which you’d know if you’ve read my previous blog posts) and I don’t really do anything particularly wintery like ski or skate. But the thrill of “jeans and sweatshirt weather” after a hot and possibly humid summer is such a wonderful joy that you’d have to experience to understand. I do, however, very much appreciate the jacket-less seasons. Not having to put on more clothes to step outside is a true delight.

Besides the weather, the beautiful supply of water and rolling landscapes are a treasure. When I was in middle school I had to write an essay about a Michigan landmark. I wrote about how much I loved the Great Lakes. I didn’t get a passing grade, since they’re not really on land. But I digress. You don’t have to go far from wherever you are in Michigan to “get away.” Many of us residents vacation in our own state. There is much to see and do here.

I’m eager to get wheels on the road when this pandemic ends. I want to see the carribbean blues and listen to the wind rustle the trees. If we have good air and rain, we have brilliant foliage to admire in the autumn. Some of our infamous towns have gotten kitschy and touristy and have lost some of their charm as they sell out to another fudge shop. But once you get away from those strips, you can get lost looking out at the water until the round earth dips beyond the horizon. It’s like the ocean, but unsalted.

As I see in the news California is again plagued with wildfires, I am grateful to be secure in lush, green and blue Michigan. Our weather is unpredictable, our roads are a bit of a shameful disaster, but what we lack in smoothness of the streets we make up for in the soothing sounds of waves coming in to kiss the land and tickle the feet of those who believe in the magic of Michigan.

I love words. Words swirl and dance around in my head. I have many deep thoughts. Some thoughts plague me. In order to release them, I have to assign the words. Once the words are strung together, I feel free again.

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