South Manitiou Island

241 :: After Hiking Seven Miles

On the last Thursday of August we took the Manitou Island Transit Ferry across the big lake over to South Manitou Island. In all my years in Leelanau, I had never been to visit this incredibly beautiful place! We hiked to the valley of the ancient white cedar trees and marveled at some of the only “old growth” forest left in Michigan. (In the Midwest?) Why were these trees (many of them well over 500 years old) not cut down in the 1830s and 1840s when the rest of the island was logged to fuel ships? The wind blew in such a way that the massive tree trunks collected sand from the dunes, and the sand dulled the blades of the loggers saws; and so a beautiful grove of white cedars was left to grow and grow. Walking among them truly feels like entering another time. I loved watching the girls and Wallace marvel at the trees after our epic hike through the woods together.

241 :: This Moss

241 :: Ancient White Cedars

241 :: Little Lake

241 :: Lighthouse Lookout

241 :: My Boys

241 :: On Our Way to South Manitou Island

241 :: Pyramid Point from Lake Michigan

Pyramid Point

245 :: Port Onida Beach

on an overcast day at the beginning of September,
when you want to hold on to summer
even as you know it is slipping away,
come here:

245 :: Greens

find all the colors of the rocks
and gather them up in your hands
and then,
throw them back into the lake
for next year
maybe

245 :: Rainbow Rocks

The Smell of Forgiveness

195 :: Garlic Harvest

These three, helping me.
Bringing the garlic in again.
Another nine-month season of growing,
coming full circle.

Oh, I have so many thoughts about growing garlic. But this year, garlic speaks to me of forgiveness.

Taking a single clove from last year’s
soil and pushing it into the ground
just before winter
and hoping it will grow it into a new, full head –
come what may.

Through autumn leaves falling,
and snow storms,
and spring cold,
it grows silently
or maybe sits and waits
underground,
offering at last
in deep summer,
the smell of forgiveness.

July Abundance

191 :: Gathering

I have a tremendous amount to say about flowers in July – and most of it comes out in the form of poetry and photographs.

192 :: Flowers for Sale

this day selling flowers at the art fair
thanks to Grandmommy
because my head was too full of house project lists to think about
flowers
but flowers –
what could be more important than flowers?

201 :: Calendula

See the sunshine
captured within these glorious petals?

they will dry out
with all their goodness preserved —
and we will soak them in sweet oil, for weeks,
and squeeze out the golden essence
and combine it with beeswax
and pour it into a beautiful little jar
for you.

And you will carry it
in your pocket
all winter long,
dreaming of sunshine
as you smooth summer into your skin.

188 :: Calendula Harvest

199 :: Rose Petals

I’m saving them for you.
why?
because they are my givingness:
so unprotected,
safe,
and having all I need.

Remember the wild rosebush?

Strawberries for Winter

176 :: Washing Berries

The girls asked to bring home a flat of strawberries to freeze for the winter. I hesitated, knowing that the kitchen was deconstructed for cleaning, but eventually I said yes. Recognizing that I was overwhelmed in the kitchen, they sat out on the porch and did everything themselves with a little help from Wallace.

Full Moon Swim

174 :: Full Moon Swim

Watching these three in the big lake, splashing under the rising June full moon, it’s hard to believe there was ever a January when I felt so cold and dark and lost. Back on the beach, standing on the threshold of all this life, next to my love, watching our babies — I am so deeply grateful