Apparently this is "God's Country"

Apparently this is "God's Country"

Hey, I’m home!

Yesterday, on the airplane, a discussion ensued among the passengers about our Beloved Upper Peninsula.

One fellow started thus:  “The more you travel, the more you realize what an awful place we live in.  The rest of the country has spring, and look what we’re coming home to!” 

We all peered out the window (all of us with window seats, that is) and viewed the snow-covered ground.  Some of us nodded our heads in agreement.  Others of us remained silent, neutral or politely disagreeing. 

I sympathized with the complaining fellow.  I know how long our snow lasts.  How long winter lingers and lingers, sometimes like an unwelcome house guest.  Yet an “awful place we live in”?  Now, now!

View the sign which sits squarely at the bottom of our hill.  “Welcome to God’s Country!” it proclaims.  (In December, when our daughter was home, a small sign jutted beneath it saying, “House for Sale”.)  We laughed and laughed about that one.  To think of someone wanting to move away from “God’s Country”…

Apparently the house sold, and a newcomer lives in God’s Country (or this godforsaken land, depending on how one views it).  I must admit, once, a long long time ago, I viewed Michigan’s Upper Peninsula as a godforsaken land. 

When I was about ten or eleven years old, our family traveled throughout these wooded landscapes.  We stayed in an A-frame cabin over in Mass City.  The mosquitoes, seemingly as big as small birds, bit us.  Ninety degree temperatures roasted us. We utilized an outhouse, as indoor plumbing did not exist at this camp.  My dad and brothers roamed the land with abandon, but Mom and I stayed enclosed in the camp and read our books.  I remember, distinctly, praying to God to get me out of this “godforsaken land”.

Honest. 

So guess how my prayers were answered?  Of course!  God laughed in glee and said, “Ah ha!  The perfect place for her to live.”

And so it was. 

And guess what?  It has slowly and surely changed from “godforsaken land” to…dare I say it?…one of the best places in the world to live and grow and enjoy and thrive.

Snow on the south side of the road

Snow on the south side of the road

The above photo and the below photo might not be the most artistic, but I would like to set the scene for you.  On one side of the road, snow remains.  Although so much has melted in the last eight or nine days. The drifts seem to have disappeared like magic.  There’s a thrill in the air!  Spring!  Hurray!

The north side of the road (upon which the south sun shines)

The north side of the road (upon which the south sun shines)

See the big ant hill?  Isn’t it a beauty?  Maybe later this spring or summer we’ll peer closely with the camera and get a fabulous shot of hundreds of ants scurrying to and fro.  Look at those dried leaves!  Aren’t they beautiful? (Because you can see them!)  Isn’t anything that appears when the snow melts intriguing? 

I expected to be blase and ho-hum after the vibrant colors and luscious beauty of southern Florida.  Unexpectedly, the opposite reaction occurred.  I snapped more pictures in a half hour today than two days ago at Fort Myers Beach.  The woods appeared more gorgeous in its muted spring peeking and poking through leaves and snow.

Here’s a theory:  a strange phenomenon occurs when we’re surrounded with colors and greenery.  We start to shut down.  We’re perhaps a big like drunken sailors, unable to take in the phenomenal boldness of the surroundings.

Around here, it’s a subtle beauty.  One learns to get really quiet…to slow down sight and sound and perception.  To look for shades, for gradations, for elusive lines and shadows.

Reflecting like a mirror

Reflecting like a mirror

So I’m glad to return to the blessed land that elicits such a reaction out of folks.  You love it, you hate it, but you learn to live here.  And if you surrender deep enough to it, the land shows you her secrets and gifts.

So glad to be home again!  Let’s see what Spring shall reveal…

Keep melting, please.

Keep melting, please.

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