A beautiful state of mind

Michigan is a beautiful place to be today. “Oh boy!” I can hear you say, “Does that mean you’re posting some photographs?” No, I’m afraid there are no photographs to illustrate this state’s beauty today. It’s more elusive than that.

It’s the way the wind is moving the trees, the way the air smells, the way the fluffy white clouds form in the blue sky. It’s the way the birds sang after the rain shower, the way the homemade cherry pie tasted in the cafe in Clare. It’s the way the baby in that same cafe peered curiously from his Daddy’s lap.

It’s the bouncing, crazy exuberance of our nephews at 8 and 11-going-on-12. It’s the precious hugs from Grandma at 97-going-on-98. It’s the Happy Spot I made outside my in-laws’ motel room.

I don’t have photos of any of these beautiful moments. Just memories.

My mother-in-law grew up in Michigan, when the world was smaller. Michigan was her world, and though her father traveled for work and her parents moved a couple of times, it was always within Michigan.

This morning, she showed us some old family photos from the 1940’s and 50’s. Most include her parents, aunts, uncles, or cousins. They’re always smiling and laughing, whether standing on the shores of a lake, sitting at a table, or posing with their arms around each other in front of some trees. The extended family vacationed together for decades, fishing, sharing meals, playing cards, drinking beer, and just enjoying each others’ company.

Of course, all these vacation spots are in Michigan. From what I can tell, this state has always been beautiful, as long as the right people are here.