It is a small village ( Glen Arbor )by the Great Lake Michigan along the Sleeping Bear National Lakeshore in Leelanau County . On it’s Main Street you can find a coffee brewing company and cafe , art galleries ( Synchronicity ) owned by my brother , The Totem Shop where I once bought moccasins and the silver bracelet I never take off , a post office , a bookstore in a historic log cabin with the scent of vanilla coming from the first edition used books in the back room , the tea house where jeweled imports are brought back from India , a portrait studio , a kayak shop , Arts Bar with a pool table , a winery , Boondocks restaurant where various bands play nightly on the open deck and some big abandoned wood buildings along the river that hold mystery in their beams … Around this center is a Tuesday Farmers Market behind the old Town Hall ,charming cottages down dirt roads , bicycle trails and woods alive with deer , fox , even bear , sand dunes , a river with salmon spauning with eagles and falcons swooping above . It is something from a mythical America where no one locks his door , so calm that you feel sheltered , sheltered all around by tranquil wilderness , a shoreline of white sand and small fossil stones and thickets of ferns and moss . Sometimes the horizon between water and sky makes one to easily believe yourself at the end of the earth . It’s also easy to believe yourself creating masterpieces of paintings or novels inspired by the waves and the light on this Great Lake the Native Americans call Michigami ( great water ). I left St.Joseph on August 4 , 2014 , in the depths of my dream . The world was already quaking from wars in the Middle East , lost airplanes , uprisings , ex terminations of ancient cultures , hurricanes and plaques . It had been a snowy cold winter … unusually so , my brother calling it the polar vortex effect as Glen Arbor lays on the 45th parallel . I love northern Michigan . I love it’s tranquility , I love it’s scented forests , I love it’s clear river streams , it’s mysterious seasons . I love it’s loud storms , loud with thunder , wind and lightning . I love that it birthed me and that it is my home . Having just sold my house and nearly all possessions , all debt paid , I bought a tent . Earth , earth pulsating . Earth , earth warm under my feet . Earth , earth orbiting . I laid down that first night happy with thanksgiving whispered as sleep found me , found me like wind finds a branch to speak for it . And the tent it’s pinnacle like a crown upon an earth created by a magnificent God sparkling with a sky filled with stars , who swept me away within the protective hide a way of white canvas , the walls moving like breath embracing me . Now I am awake ! … or am I dreaming ? I stand up to make sure … The Great Spirit has found me and I AM AWAKE ! Hearing loud drumming , loud celebratory chanting repeated many times , many times for nearly an hour , I realize it is coming from the direction of the lake and it sounds so near , so near and distinct with a loud beating . The sky is clear black , many stars , a gentle wind , quiet except for the Native American chants heard … I’m listening , listening long , still listening as I lay down on my sheepskin where sleep once again captures me . Two days pass … I shyly mention that night in a photo post and tell my daughter about it … when I read an article about the Odawa Nation Pow Wow that had taken place across the lake in Harbor Springs , more than 60 miles away ,taken place that first night I had slept in my tent ! It was the Great Spirit who awakened me and spoke to me , welcoming me back home, sending the Pow Wow over the long distance , over the waters, christening a name from generations ago into my awareness , one that sounds familiar : ” She Who Walks Barefoot “. Oh Great Spirit
whose voice I hear in the winds
and whose breath
gives life to all the world .
I am small and weak
I need your strength and wisdom .
let me walk in beauty
and make my eyes ever behold
the red and purple sunset .
make my hands respect the things you have made
and my ears sharp to hear your voice .
make me wise
so that I may understand things
you have taught my people .
let me learn
the lessons you have hidden
in every leaf and rock .
I seek strength
not to be greater than my brother
but to fight my greatest enemy , my-self .
make me always ready
to come to you with
clean hands and straight eyes .
So when life fades
as the fading sunset
my spirit may come to you without shame .
Chief Yellow Lark ( 1887 )