My first love…before Lake Superior

Overlooking Lake Huron

Overlooking Lake Huron

Perhaps some of you might be surprised to know that my love of Lake Superior birthed on the shores of Lake Huron.  Shall I share about my first love down in lower Michigan, that long arm of the Great Lakes reaching up?

During our recent book tour, Terri Bocklund sang of genius loci, the spirit of place.  How the spirit of a certain place can draw us, inform us, dream us.  (Visit her blog, here, to learn more of her love of Lake Superior.)

The rising spirit of a lake, or prairie, or mountain, might ignite our heart and create music through us.  Or stories.  Or deep connections which refuse logical arguments.

The boundaries between place and person might blur, as each gifts the other with precious beauty, creativity, delight.

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Posted in August 2014 | Tagged , , , , , , , , , | 15 Comments

Follow your feet.

Follow them

Follow them

Years ago I attended a spiritual workshop out in the green and brown hills of Montana. The snowy crests of the Continental Divide towered over us.  Our teacher gave an assignment: Out you go onto the ranch.  Instead of allowing your head to guide your walk, follow your feet.  Let the feet lead wherever they desire to travel.  Follow your feet.

Off we traveled, letting the toes and heels and arches guide us.  While thought may have suggested turning left to visit that cottonwood by the river, feet led us up into the hill country.  Thought so often attempted to keep us on the beaten path, but feet guided into a patch of the most fascinating scrub bushes.  Thought carried on about cleared trails, but feet led to the next appropriate moment.

Such gifts the feet shared!  A broken-off branch in the most fascinating shape.  A stone shaped like a heart.  The shadow of a Native American spirit dancing in the wind against a tree.

I walked away from that feet-guided afternoon inspiration with a renewed trust in intuition.  With a convincing knowing that something deeper than our thoughts might actually know which way to turn in the upcoming moment.  With a delight in the journey underlying the thinking churning mind.

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Posted in August 2014 | Tagged , , , , , , , | 56 Comments

Serendipity, a light house & wind-blown hair

The red door of possibility

The red door of possibility

I am downstate visiting my mom and dad now, having previously added these photos to Word Press during a very busy morning last Friday while preparing to depart.

These images come to you from Big Bay, Michigan, where Suzi Banks Baum shared a “Slow Time Salon” of art and writing with many friends and acquaintances last Tuesday. I snapped most of these pictures during a mid-day walk down a dirt road to the lighthouse out on Lake Superior.

Up close design

Up close design

You’re wondering about the “serendipity” part of the title, aren’t you?  I can’t wait to tell you!

Last Friday morning before working three hours at the school and two hours with the township–before cleaning and packing and organizing–I kept hearing the phrases “Ladies of the Lake” in my head, like a song.  Since I had a photo of the three of the book tour participants standing by the lake I started the title of the post with “Ladies of the Lake.”

Jumped in the car, drove away (forgetting my telephone charger, alas) and tooled down the road in anticipation of the 550 miles to visit family.  Keep in mind that this was not necessarily a logical decision, but an impromptu desire from the heart.

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Posted in August 2014 | Tagged , , , , , , , | 26 Comments

Ladies of the lake and other Lake Superior sunset photos

Evening silhouette against the lake

Evening silhouette against the lake (this may be a gentleman of the lake!)

Friends, I am leaving again–heading downstate to visit my mom and dad and brothers and families–but still want to show you some sunset photos from an evening in Big Bay along Lake Superior last Friday night during the aforementioned book tour.

Beating wings of geese over Lake Superior

Beating wings of geese over Lake Superior

There are more pictures of the Big Bay Lighthouse but I’m not sure if there shall be time to upload them before departing and driving 550 miles south to my dear family.

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What makes you shine? (the tale of a book tour…)

The book tour babes:  Monica, me, Terri and Suzi

The book tour babes: Monica, me, Terri and Suzi

Hello, dear reader, you with your stories, with hands that create breakfast, lunch and dinner along with many mysteries.

I am finally returning from the Giving Motherhood a Voice tour through our fair Upper Peninsula.  The waves of Lake Michigan and Lake Superior pulsed in the background as we read stories from An Anthology of Babes:  36 Women Give Motherhood a Voice, edited by Suzi Banks Baum.  We traveled to Escanaba, Marquette and Ishpeming.  Yesterday, we settled in a cabin nestled in pines and spruce near the foggy lake in Big Bay and created collages and painted rocks and wrote soulful words whispered to us by stones and seagulls and lighthouses at Suzi’s Slow Time Salon.

We’ve celebrated women’s voices this past week.  We’ve touted women’s stories.  We’ve honored our mothers, our grandmothers, our children, our partners.  Especially we’ve sung the songs of our hearts, the creations of our hands, the way our spirits need tending in the same way our children’s clothes need mending.

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My public radio interview

Perhaps some of you remember that I am headed out on the “Giving Motherhood a Voice” Upper Peninsula book tour later this week.

Three of us will be reading our contributions from An Anthology of Babes:  36 Women Give Motherhood a Voice, edited by Suzi Banks Baum.  Singer/songwriter Terri Bocklund will perform.  We’ll talk about motherhood and creativity with time for audience participation.

This morning Stan Wright from Northern Michigan University Public Radio interviewed me.

I was so nervous!  My heart pounded and fingers tingled.  I haven’t been interviewed on the radio in many years and felt sure it would be a fountain of stuttering, nervousness and dire mistakes.

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Posted in August 2014 | Tagged , , , , , , , | 69 Comments

When a raptor needs the doctor

Beautiful barred owl

Beautiful barred owl

I promised Karma some photos from last Friday night when we drove to the Baraga State Park to meet some raptors from the Upper Michigan Raptor Rehabilitation and Wildlife Center.

Barry was covering this story for his job at our local newspaper, the L’Anse Sentinel, before attending the Baraga County Fair.  We drove separately, met for dinner at the Hilltop Restaurant, then learned about a wonderful facility which assists injured wild creatures.

We discovered what happens when a raptor needs the doctor here in the Upper Peninsula.

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Posted in August 2014 | Tagged , , , , , , , , | 21 Comments