|My Dearest Michigan:
I realize I have been one of the nay-sayers throughout the month of January. After all, the official weather calendar view only shows 2 days of actual sunshine. Six percent is a low percentage, no matter what the category, you must admit.
But thank you for this past Sunday. The sky has never looked so blue, and the snow sparkled like a sheet of diamond dust. Thank you for rolling back the concrete lid and giving us some of that bright sun that is few and far between this time of year.
I have a confession to make, though. I get a bit misty-eyed with each new “Pure Michigan” radio spot that comes on. This week, I caught “Head for the Hills” and smiled as it reminded me of my childhood skiing up north. With such a voluminous portfolio of awe-inspiring things, it’s no wonder the Pure Michigan campaign is so successful: it’s easy to sell perfection!
They tell me it’s only 44 days, or so, until spring. This makes me a little excited, as my magnolia tree has more buds on it this year than any past years I can remember. And after last year’s buffet of cherry, apple, and pear blossoms, I am elated to see what you have in store for this spring’s feast.
And can we expect another perfect summer, with 80 degree days and quiet, peeper-filled evenings? One of my favorite places in this world is sitting on the end of the dock at 6am in the middle of summer (before the heat descends, of course), cup of coffee (cream and sugar) in hand, watching the glassy lake sleep undisturbed as the world around it slowly wakes up.
Speaking of things perfect in the summer, Crayola really ought to send a team here to create their next box. They could call it “the Michigan 64″ (or something immensely more creative, as they are so good at naming). The emerald green leaves and grass sharing the horizon with an electric blue sky and crisp white gulls, cruising over brilliant lilies and delicate bittersweet near the shore. Oh, and perhaps the Crayola people could share a hotel room with the Yankee candle team, because the honeysuckle, dogwood, and lilacs turn the air alive with warmth and sweetness that is hard to remember in these winter months.
But, you do have your work cut out for you this year with autumn. I mean, we really had a bang-up Fall 2010 with warm-ish days, cool, star-filled nights with clear skies and a promise of good things to come with each kiss of fresh, crisp air. In fact, let me amend my prior thought… the Crayola people really just need to rent a place here for a few months because once you start the Maples off and running, by the time the Oaks catch up, our hillsides are ablaze for weeks. It’s the best wildfire a girl could ask for!
And even when winter comes early sometimes, it really is okay. Because it’s these bright days that make the concrete lid seem almost tolerable the other 94% of the time.
So, Michigan, I apologize. I’m sorry for decrying the weather in January.
The 2 days we had were glorious, and I know that there will be many more days where only in pure Michigan can I enjoy all of this. So thank you.
With all my love,
My Dearest, I’m Sorry (or, A Love Letter to Michigan)
3 February 2011 by Emerson J. Winchester