There is a magical place near where we live in N. Michigan that is beyond words. It is a place where two and a half Great Lakes converge. I say ½ because the link to Lake Superior is actually several miles north but not that far and is through the series of locks we know as “The Soo”, at Sault St. Marie. The other two lakes are Lake Michigan and Lake Huron.
But I always think of it as the place where the three Great Lakes converge and you can’t imagine the expanse of great waters unless you have seen it yourself. Mind you, these inland seas of fresh water are huge. You cannot see across them and it looks as if when you stand at their edge that they go off into infinity, just like an ocean looks like.
From 1953-1957, 11,350 workers and engineers created the phenomenon called the Mackinac Bridge or “The Mighty Mac” as it is affectionately referred to in these parts. The bridge is the third largest suspension bridge in the world behind the largest in Japan and the second largest in Denmark. It resembles its more famous sister the Golden Gate Bridge but being on top of the Mighty Mac crossing the straits of Mackinac (pronounced “Mackinaw”), the expanse of water is much greater and there are no cities or overbuilt hillsides to hinder one’s enjoyment of that huge expanse of fresh water. There is also no air or light pollution. Its just you, the water, the sand, the trees, the view, and the bridge.
When I get to this area between the upper and lower peninsulas of Michigan, it feels as if I have entered a space that is very spiritual and special. I feel a hush coming over me, and a deep feeling of reverence for the land and the waters and the birds and animals….and yes, for the humans who created such an amazing structure linking two spits of land making life ever so much easier for those in the upper peninsula and for the transport of goods back and forth.
These photos cannot capture the grandeur of such a spot but it is here that I get a small sense of the enormity of nature and its awe-inspiring influence on our lives. A tiny flower can also do that for me, taking my breath away. But somehow, on this high precipice, I seem to feel a part of nature and the entire cosmos in a way that being macro focused does not allow.
The purpose of this blog is to inspire you to read more about the great inland seas we call The Great Lakes, or at least to look at images of them. A friend of mine who is used to fishing in small, interior lakes was blown away when he finally saw the first Great Lake of his life this summer. He was incredulous at the sight. Until you see them in person you cannot grasp their enormity or sense their personalities (and they each have a specific feeling!), or appreciate their beauty. We are indeed blessed to have such a store of fresh water here in our country to enjoy from drinking and cooking to water sports and simply to drink in their beauty.
Enjoy the Great Lakes. They are certainly a treat for all of us to experience at least once in our lives!
(For a wonderful trip through the Great Lakes and a great read, see The Living Great Lakes: Searching for the Heart of the Inland Seas by Jerry Dennis)