Into the wilds of Michigan

6 Aug

As the heat continues to beat down on me in Shanghai, my thoughts have flown to the other more pleasant places I have recently rested my head.  Towards the beginning of my long trip in June I was lucky to spend several days in northern Michigan at my family’s cottage on Lake Huron.  It is the place where I have gone ever since I was small to escape both from the normalcy and extreme pressures of life.

Branches of the trees tangle over the water leading to the dinner table

Branches of the trees tangle over the water leading to the dinner table

My first full summer in China I escaped there for a week after which I was able to recover from a near break down and finally abandon my perfectionist tendencies that were holding me back in China.  It is a comforting place – but one that is quite literally worlds away from where I currently call home.

Looking out towards the pines

Looking out towards the pines

Part of what makes it such a wonderful place to escape is the nature that surrounds the cottage.  Looking out the picture windows I can see Lake Huron and the ducks and seagulls that float and fly by.  On the lawn and behind the house are Michigan white pines that have seen generations of my family play and grow old.  There’s not a meal that goes by where a naughty squirrel won’t run across the lawn or a hummingbird samples the syrup at the feeder.  We have flowers surrounding the house – both real and plastic (the wind on the lake side punishes flowers) and the long drive that leads you in makes you believe you are miles from everywhere.

Spiders catch prey while I enjoy the view

Spiders catch prey while I enjoy the view

Even the "creatures" can enjoy the view

Reflections of home

We take friends on nightly deer watching rides as dusk slides over the land.  Skunks and bugs and bats all call this corner of northern Michigan home and they have been there much longer than I.  It is a constant battle against the sun or the wind or the water to preserve our privacy and the house that exists there.

Dusk at the water

Dusk at the water

On hot nights in Shanghai I go there in my dreams to the place where the lake laps at the shore and the bats and chipmunks scratch at the roof.  It is wild and it is home.

The perfect iris

A wild iris

This post was inspired by Ailsa’s travel theme – Wild.  I haven’t linked up with her for quite some time, so if you are curious about how others define Wild – click the link and check it out!

What does wild mean to you?  I think cities can be wild – the constant people and tall buildings and the acceptance of things that where everyone knows your name just don’t happen.  The wilds of nature have rules that are as old as time, where the rules in cities keep changing.  Which do you pick?


10 Responses to “Into the wilds of Michigan”

  1. pollyheath August 6, 2013 at 9:48 am #

    I do love the Midwest! There’s something so soothing about taking a nice, long drive through nature up there!

    • gkm2011 August 6, 2013 at 9:40 pm #

      I know! The people are so friendly as well. Rustic and beautiful!

  2. Every Day Adventures in Asia August 6, 2013 at 11:49 am #

    What a wonderful sanctuary! I used to love it when we went to friends and relatives cottages in the lake district. Or canoing and camping for days just to get away completely. North America has so many places that truly are out in the ‘wild.’

    However I’m completely a city girl and am at home with the chaos and energy of cities. My project collegue from Australia was staying in a room on the highway side and couldn’t sleep as the traffic noise was too loud. I didn’t even notice it!

    Keep dreaming and escaping the heat in any way you can!

    • gkm2011 August 6, 2013 at 9:42 pm #

      I love both an ideal balance would be about 1/3 quiet woods and 2/3 city but that may change with time and habit. It is a wonderful place that I would love to invite you to if we are ever on the same continent!

  3. italkyoutalklanguages August 6, 2013 at 7:26 pm #

    I visited northern Michigan for the first time earlier this year. The landscapes were stunning and so vast… A great place to get away from it all!

    • gkm2011 August 6, 2013 at 9:43 pm #

      And so many places to see! I am a native Michigander and I have a list of where I would like to go. I still haven’t been to the beautiful places in the upper peninsula!

  4. expatlingo August 7, 2013 at 9:46 pm #

    Beautiful and peaceful!

  5. Sherri August 8, 2013 at 12:48 am #

    Although I’ve never been to the mid west this did remind me of when we would go camping in California, up in the mountains or by the lake. I remember that once we saw a whole family of wild pigs and piglets, never forgotten it! I don’t know if you ‘do’ awards or not, but I’ve nominated you for the Inner Peace Award but you don’t have to do anything with it, no work required! Just wanted to say ‘thanks’ 🙂

    • gkm2011 August 8, 2013 at 7:41 am #

      Thank you very much! I accept gladly. I appreciate your comments it is great to know someone is following along with my jumbled thoughts.

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