In the Straits of Mackinac there is an island who lives in the shadows of its more famous cousin. Those who know this island might prefer it would remain fairly anonymous. Which is exactly why I hesitate to speak its name! As is the case with anything one comes to have a love and affection for, it has become a place I wish to guard and protect from those who would do it harm. So I am trusting you, my faithful reader, with this privileged information!
For decades now, members of our family have come to crave connecting with all that this precious island has to offer. Taking the 45 minute ferry ride over to this very special remote place, the hypnotic hum of KristinD’s engine begins to soothe weary travelers as they journey forth in joyful anticipation and expectation of what’s to come. The ferry ride alone, helps visitors begin to mentally disconnect from life’s worries, as you can imagine leaving them all behind on the mainland. As you arrive on its humble shores, there is no red carpet or Grand Hotel to greet you. Better still, there are welcoming smiles and hugs of family and friends you hold dear.
In some cases it may take days before you sense life’s burdens begin to fully lift off your shoulders. But eventually the therapeutic effects of the sights and sounds of Bois Blanc Island eventually take effect, and you have truly arrived. You begin to slow down and notice and delight in the small things: The shifting winds as the white caps on Great Lake Huron grow more pronounced. The low rumbly engine sounds of a ship freighter in the distance. Sitting on the front porch, nearly unheard of in these modern times, you find yourself waving at strangers as they drive by. Nothing is sweeter than seeing it all through a childs eyes as they go from one island adventure to the next, one minute chasing butterflies or rattlesnakes as the case may be. The next minute, capturing crayfish, dreaming of ways to trap a turkey, or creating mosaics in the sand out of drift wood and stones.
In these modern times, there is a growing sense of urgency to slow down the pace, dig down roots and establishing a more intimate connection with a place, that can consequentially give life a deeper, richer meaning. While I have done my share of traveling and do enjoy the excitement of visiting new places, there is nothing that quite compares to the power of roots! Our family has shared history and memories on this island that we forever treasure. It’s something we wish to share and pass on to our children and our children’s children. You could say with any family, as roots grow deeper, like a hardy prairie plant, each generation is anchored down and able to tolerate extreme shifts in climate. It’s interesting to note, that 70% of a hardy prairie plant is the root system! These plants must have hefty underground “bank accounts” to weather the bad times that would put lesser plants out of business for good**. This allows them to laugh in the face of drought and continue to grow even under extremely trying conditions. Behold, the power of roots! I believe the same holds true for us humanfolk. Every investment made in developing healthy roots, can help to make us that much more resilient. How awesome is that!
There’s just something about the allure of an island that once experienced, gets into your heart and soul. For my family, it is a treasure of a place to reconnect with ourselves, with all God has created, and with each other. It’s that combined experience and history that has given my life a deeper, richer meaning. It has been a huge blessing beyond measure. I can’t think of a better place to invest time in developing my families roots!
**From the Prairie Nursery website.