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

Woods

198 :: Woods

Do you know this hill
we traveled up together
three seasons ago?

It still holds our lives.
It still holds our footsteps –

today with
barefoot children
and baskets of cherries.

198 :: Cherries

Morning Mist

193 :: Morning Mist

I see you there
walking behind me
as if you’d like to disappear
into the white mist with your black dog.

Let it swallow you up:
all your beautiful long legs,
curly hair covering
deep-seeing eyes —
hide
if you must.

But, please, know this:
I will keep walking with you.
I will keep walking
right on through
the mistakes I have made
over the past 13 years,
since I carried you inside
of me,
knowing so little
about who you were
and who I would need to become
to be your mother.

And, oh,
my dear child,
I love you like the wind
on a soft summer morning
resting on the edges
of the orchard,
ready to blow away
the thick air
surrounding us.

I see you
even
in the morning
mist.

Walking Back in Time with Jill

151 :: With Jil

Here we are, on the winding Gousty lanes, exploring with our dear friend Jill, traveling back in time together. There is a timeless quality to the lanes going up and down the hills, connecting old houses. Old houses like old friends talking, remembering, as we do, our shared history.

I love watching my girls as they observe the friendship between Susie and Jill, dear friends who spent years raising their children together. My girls love to hear them bantering stories back and forth – stories from when I was the age of my daughters. I see my girls imagining Grandmommy when she was my age, with little ones like I have now. Imagining me as little like them. Imagining me with Jill’s daughters and the worlds we created and the words we invented. And how those little worlds and those words live on in the stories our mothers tell all these years later. Walking together.

Tunnel of Love

145 :: Learning to Ride

The girls and I were talking about what we love about living at Gousty and what we love about living on our hill in Suttons Bay. We miss our gardens in Suttons Bay, and we miss our light-filled rooms on the hill. We like being able to hop on our bikes and ride down to Little Bees. And we miss our dear neighbors.

But it doesn’t take much explanation to get to the heart of our love for Gousty. Every time I walk through the “tunnel of love” I am simply filled with the feeling that there is no where else in the world I would rather live.

Then I turn the corner and see the beautiful land that my parents have tended and loved and lived on for 26 years, and well, this is it.

145 :: Gousty Light