Michigan has a special place in my heart. It’s where my parents grew up, met, and married. It’s where my grandparents and aunt and uncles lived. It’s where I spent a majority of my childhood summers, and now as an adult, it’s where I travel to every year. There’s a lot to love. It’s rolling hills, green grass and trees, wildflowers, the sweet smell in the evening as the sun finally goes down and the fireflies come to life. The quaint towns and civic pride. The people who wave and say, “Good morning!”. The scent of zucchini bread emanating from my grandma’s house– a cozy and comfortable place that envelopes me in security. This is where I have spent the last eight days.
My husband teases me because a lot of stuff reminds me of Michigan– especially smells. When it’s humid here, I ask, “Do you know what this smell reminds me of?”. Steve will roll his eyes and groan, “Michigan.” This time when I arrived on the 10th, it didn’t smell like Michigan. It smelled like California– dry and dusty. The state, as well as much of the Midwest, is suffering a severe drought. The typically lush green grass was brown and crispy; the soybeans in the fields hung limp and the corn drooped. It was a sad sight. The drought did afford me a new opportunity: long morning walks. Normally the air is so thick and warm with moisture that going out for a walk is uncomfortable; my energy is sapped before I get to the corner. This time the dry air allowed me to explore areas in depth and see parts of my second home that I’ve never seen before. Not to mention the fact that I could indulge in my love affair with my favorite flower, Queen Anne’s Lace.
Queen Anne’s lace is actually wild carrot. The carrot is edible while young, but it’s not recommended to start chowing down anytime soon since it closely resembles wild hemlock (remember what happened to Socrates). It’s seeds, ground up, were also used as a contraceptive a long time ago. I love it because it is delicate and graces the roadsides– like nature’s white picket fence.
Here are some pictures from my walks and visits in Michigan; many feature my love, Queen Anne’s Lace.
Since I have returned, the corner of southwestern Michigan has received two inches of rain and more is expected tonight. Hopefully that will provide some relief.