Maui is the most beautiful island I have ever experienced. A little more to the point, it is the most beautiful place I have ever been. Lush, green beauty covers the island and the sun shines all day long. The scent of the sea permeates every breeze. Lovely, unimaginable beauty.
Then I saw my home state of Michigan again. I know, it rains or snows three quarters of the time. And three quarters of that fourth quarter there is nothing but clouds in the sky. The sun rarely shines in that fair state. But its beauty to me overpowers the immediate beauty of Maui.
I am crazy. Let me explain.
Michigan is the smell after the rainfall, the soft, fertile scent of growing grass and trees. It is the smell of dark topsoil awaiting the plough. The weather, while some might call it stereotypical is true weather. It changes in a heartbeat from good to bad and back again. But it is weather. You can feel the power in each thundercap and rejoice in the strength of a torrential downpour or a blowing snowstorm. The beauty of the wind as it sweeps across the rippling fields of corn or wheat or soybeans is comparable to the waves lapping toward the Maui shore. Unpredictable, in winter or summer, the weather gives one no room for boredom. While the intense cold of the winter months has been more difficult to bear with each passing year, I love the knowledge that unlike the warm weather crowd, I am no wimp. And despite the terrifying and capricious way I have described my home state, there is something more you ought to know. I can tell you every change in the weather before it occurs. I can look at the clouds and tell you how soon it will rain or if it will rain in the place where you are. I can test the wind -- direction and speed -- and know what tonight or tomorrow will bring. I can smell the air and tell you a hundred different things. And I can look at the sunset and know if tomorrow will be warm or cold, and if so how warm or cold it will be. That is part of what I love about Michigan. But there is more.
In a way the waters make the state.The lakes, though a bit fishy, are perfect mirrors when the wind stops. The cleanness of the white sand piled in dunes along the beaches of the Great Lakes surpasses the dirty, sticky sand of the Pacific Ocean. When you duck beneath the waters of any lake you come out clean, with no taste of a salt overdose in your mouth. The fishing, oh the fishing! While I would love to experience deep sea fishing, nothing will ever take away the joy of sitting in a canoe casting my line and reeling it in, hoping for a bass, bluegill or walleye. In Michigan you can never be more than half a mile from a water source. If a lake is not available a stream or river angles across the road. A marsh or bog may sit idle in the brimming summer heat.
Then there are the trees and the wildlife. Climbing trees is such a joy. And who can climb a palm tree? I don't know, but I can climb just about any tree in Michigan. Sitting in the dimness of a woodsy glade, watching small Bambis play, or squirrels chatter, or birds sing is a fine occupation. Building forts in the woods is also fun.
It is a wonderful place to be a child. You come home covered in mud or grass stains, but you had fun getting that way. And besides, you're still not self conscious enough to care who notices that your clothes never come clean and your hair is always untidy.
I suppose if I had grown up in Detroit I might have a different perspective. But different or not, I think I would always love Michigan more than Maui.
And those were my thoughts when I returned home for half a day. I gathered the last of my things, and promptly moved down to Indiana. Indiana is (pardon my language) crap, compared to Michigan. And the people are freakin' weird! But here I am, with my wonderful husband, happy as a clam.
If you are someone I know in real life and do not have my new phone number, let me know. I will get it to you.
Yeah, the wedding was great, the honeymoon wonderful and we are settling into married life quite well. I will go back to my good old political posts soon.
P.S. If you want to see a few wedding pics go to my friend Foley's (on the right among "Friends") blog.