I often find my thoughts returning to northern Lake Michigan, the only place in the world where I have felt total peace. I can still see it, in my mind ... treading upon leaves so worn they seem like lace, following a delicate path that winds through woods full of slender trees. As I step from the cool shade to the warm dunes of yellow sand, the sunshine temporarily blinds and forever brightens me ... how could I ever forget the sight of water and cliff opening up before me as I kept moving forward?
I have so many memories of this place, of rocky beaches and sandy ones, of dunes wearing away beneath wind that caresses and curses, of the rock bucket, of the cold, cold water soaking my clothes as I searched beneath the waves for wonderful stones. There were so many pocketfuls of amazing things and glass worn smooth by waves! Impressions of tall swingsets, fudge, and lighthouses linger. I was something between a tourist and a resident, for although my body never lived there, my heart always did.
It has been many years since I last visited this place that I love. I fear that development has pushed its way into the delicate dunes environment ... this land is inherently unstable, meant for beauty and change, not to be covered in pavement and McMansions. Those who embrace a life of mindless leisure with shallow nautical trappings cannot understand the glory they deface.