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.
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,
find all the colors of the rocks
and gather them up in your hands
throw them back into the lake
for next year
remember that night in August
when the light was just so
and the dogs were wild and wet
and the girls went swimming
and the boys played in the sand
and I went running down the beach?
This is the way we traveled to Gousty every day in August . . . back and forth through the flower tunnel.
Uncle James had all the cousins captivated with his bottle rocket!
And here are two beauties in the evening light.
Old Gousty days in August were filled with family and friends and collections of treasures from our walks in the wild woods.
standing in the kitchen exhausted
I watch the evening light
illuminating her angry face
angry because we were late
and beautiful because
she can’t help but be