Interlochen: Lake Michigan

There’s something about the crystal blue-green expanse of lakes in Northern Michigan that make everything else in the world seem to fall away. The to-do lists, the upcoming road trip, the unknowns of moving back home, the local news, the national news, the world news, the Earth spinning and spinning as the moon coaxes tides in and out and back in again–all of it forgotten like so many tossed grains of sand. Pure yellow sunlight fills the air without the reverberating heat of pavement. Its warmth is tendered by a freshwater breeze. There’s so much open space its enough to trick the eye into believing Empire Beach at Lake Michigan is an oceanic overlook.


Lake Michigan is actually large enough to have its own tide that recedes or pushes forward approximately 4 inches, even though we typically don’t think of tides when we think of freshwater lakes. I like the idea that Lake Michigan is big enough to change the rules. I’ve written before about its therapeutic qualities and its geological features. Now, after three summers in the North Country, it’s clear
everyone around here heeds to the Lake’s power.

I’ve tried to go swimming at least once a week since my arrival. Some weeks, I swam four or five times. At least one or two weeks, I missed out entirely (when in the throes of the novel). In the end, I averaged two or three trips per week, most of them to Duck Lake via the State Park access just a very short walk from here. With only two short weeks left I’m hoping to raise that average and soak it all up while I still can. Duck Lake or Green Lake, Lake Michigan or Glen Lake, they’re all fresh and blue and free and absolutely inviting this time of year. As someone whose depends on the worlds I create in my mind (and bringing those worlds to life on the page), there is perhaps nothing more valuable than the chance to get out of my own head. The fastest way to do that? Jump into the water!

NOTE: The Yancey County News recently did a front page feature on Lost Crossings and its television debut. Read the article in full right here. Sure feels good to get a big ol’ “welcome home” three weeks before I head down south. Thanks, Western North Carolina!

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