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

Old Gousty August

213 :: Always Acorns

I’m catching up on photos from this glorious month, and I’m going to let Mary Oliver do the talking tonight . . .

216 :: Legos

In Blackwater Woods
By Mary Oliver

Look, the trees
are turning
their own bodies
into pillars

of light,
are giving off the rich
fragrance of cinnamon
and fulfillment,

and long tapers
of cattails
are bursting and floating away over
the blue shoulders

of the ponds,
and every pond,
no matter what its
name is, is

nameless now.
Every year
everything
I have ever learned

in my lifetime
leads back to this: the fires
and the black river of loss
whose other side

is salvation,
whose meaning
none of us will ever know.
To live in this world
you must be able
to do three things:
to love what is mortal;
to hold it

against your bones knowing
your own life depends on it;
and, when the time comes to let it go,
to let it go.

214 :: In Forest with Book

211 :: Giant Sandbox

212 :: Young Artist at Work

215 :: Flying with Uncle James

217 :: Meditation

217 :: Dark and Sunny Woods

218 :: Hers

219 :: Visitor

226 :: Nearing Dusk

227 :: Old Gousty Stump House

224 :: That Morning Light

224 :: Monitoring

226 :: Those Hands

226 :: Nasturtiums

227 :: Little Gousty Library

228 :: Cousin Love

228 :: Bud Buddies

222 :: August Glow

225 :: Papa

225 :: Water Cousins

229 :: Berry Hands

229 :: Berry Girl

229 :: 35 Pounds of Talk

229 :: Family

Together

180_pure_magic-180704-1.jpg

Mothering these two beautiful children, ten years apart in age, is one of my greatest challenges and also one of my greatest joys. The connection between them is a tremendous gift. He looks up to her with such unconditional affection and awe. She nurtures him with such adoration. Quite often these days, she is her most expressive self with him.

And he is getting quite an education from her. Today I asked if he wanted to look for tadpoles when we went down to the beach. He looked up at me and said, in his most matter-a-fact way, “We can’t go into their habitat.”

Now I wonder where my 2-year-old learned that?

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