Since I was a kid, I have been taking advantage of the beauty of Michigan. You could say I am a veteran of taking advantage of it at this point. My parents would take my siblings and me on picturesque hikes and to spectacular lookout points, and I would stare out onto the blue horizon.
The first time I went to Pyramid Point, my sister was a napping infant. My mother watched her, while my father took my brother and me up the half mile trail to the lookout, and then down the 300 feet to Lake Michigan. By the time we climbed back up and made it back to the parking lot, my mother and little sister had all but left us for dead. We were quickly forgiven, as the beauty of the water can captivate anyone for hours.
The view from that day is one of my most vivid memories, and the hikes in that area are still some of my favorite.
Two summers ago, I was in Hawaii, helping a woman on her farm. After initial conversation, it came up that I was from Traverse City. Her response was, “I have traveled all over the world, and that is the most beautiful place I have been.” Not to mention, you don’t often hear people talking about other beautiful places while being in Hawaii.
But she was right. Our Great Lakes are a globally significant resource, for function and beauty. I love hiking along Lake Michigan’s shores and being amazed every single time.
During this week including Thanksgiving, FLOW staff are reflecting on their thankfulness for water. Whether it’s the vast and variable nature of Lake Huron or the water running from a household tap, water is at the center of our lives and our gratitude. We hope our writings inspire your reflection as well. Happy Thanksgiving from FLOW!
I am thankful for Lake Huron, sometimes called the forgotten Great Lake. It’s not the biggest, the most popular or the most celebrated Great Lake. But during the three years I lived on its shore, I came to know and appreciate its subtleties and charms.
Lake Huron was patient in winter. Ice clotted the creeks and drains that ordinarily contribute to it, but they would soon resume their flow; of course, they were already flowing under winter’s glassy surface.
Lake Huron was resilient. A storm would thrash it, but a day or two later, the lake would rest contentedly, a match for any tempest.
Lake Huron was a changeling. One day the blue of a child’s lake drawing, one morning silver; one day muddy brown, one evening gold.
Lake Huron was vast. Gazing out over its open waters, I felt a connection to the thousands of years it has endured, the 23,000 square miles it occupies, its 3,827 miles of shoreline.
Living next to Lake Huron was like living next to a mountain. The lake was always in my consciousness. Often that was because of the beat of the waves. The repetition was comfort, the way a rocking cradle is to a baby.
The second largest of the Great Lakes, Huron is the fifth largest lake in the world. It doesn’t boast. It just is. I am thankful that it is. I highly recommend it to others.