Sunday, September 5, 2010
Dave and I celebrated our twenty-second wedding anniversary this summer. We have always wanted to go back to Harbor Springs which is where we spent part of our honeymoon. The top photo is of the B&B where we stayed back then. Funny that it hasn't aged a bit and it actually looks better than it did back then. After seeing an article in Traverse the Magazine about the Tunnel Of Trees and the Cross In The Woods, we decided we should just make that trip after all.
Twenty-two years ago we attempted to visit the Cross but being young and in-love, we somehow got lost and never found it. I don't really know how one can miss a giant cross but I guess there are many things out in the world that can keep us from seeing it.
Friday morning we headed out armed with only a magazine article and twenty-two years of real life in tow in an attempt to travel back in time. Not quite as starry eyed and blissful but still very much in love, we were searching for what we didn't see the first time through. Hidden things, that in the rush to get it all and see it all, we may have missed. Funny what you can see when you really look, enlightening what you can hear when you really listen.
It amazed me how M-119 is so much like life. You turn onto it and it is bright and vibrant, full of new things vying for your attention. "Do this, stop here, buy me!", chant all the outside forces and at first you fall for it. But the tunnel arrives and slows your pace, removing your ability to grasp at everything and eventually you realize you're tired, you're broke and you've missed all the truly important things that have passed by.
As you continue on through the tunnel, it is somewhat dark and foreboding. You don't know how long it will take to arrive at the end and it all looks the same. Tree after tree after tree you plug along at a snails pace because the road is narrow and treacherous. Sure there are occasional glimpses of life outside the tunnel but they are beyond your reach and access is denied in most places. You must keep your eyes focused on where you are going because any wrong turn could be disastrous and you know that the Devil's Elbow is somewhere out there waiting to trip you up. But you are held tight within the grip of the trees compelled that forward is the only real option but unsure of what lies ahead.
There is a sign in the tunnel for "The Tree of Wise Council" a meeting place where the Native Americans used to gather and I thought about how appropriate that was since there is so much to be learned as you travel through the tunnel, it is the time where wisdom begins to take root in our lives.
However, your journey down M-119 is not over yet. You continue on until you arrive at an area of brief refuge. A place of relief and nourishment, a much needed breath of fresh air and leg stretching before you resume your travels. A previous sojourner with a Good Hart knew that weary travelers would need a place of rest. Yet somehow you find that as much as you enjoyed the break, you are anxious to get back on the road. You are a bit more enthusiastic now anticipating that you must be nearing the end. Your focus is no longer on the trees and how they are keeping you from something but rather how they are leading you to something and suddenly, without warning you come bursting forth into the light and there before you stands The Cross.
Saturday, September 4, 2010
This is where I have been for the last 8 months! There has been so much to write about and no time to share, so much that's painful and no strength, or maybe no courage, to share. I always consider myself a pretty transparent person but when things get really tough even I revert into myself. I think at this point in time I will simply sum up 2010 as being the hardest year of my life and hang on for the final quarter. Perhaps as the slow days of Autumn pass I will have time to sort out my heart and my mind, the words will flow and the peace will come. Until then, here's to clinging to the cross, and living a simple life where all is calm and all is well . . .