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Tales of the Sweetwater Seas

Before you leave Michigan (for something flimsier than employment reasons) read Jerry Dennis' The Living Great Lakes: Searching for the Heart of the Inland Seas. This luminous work is part travelogue, part natural and cultural history that only makes living in this region all the more sweeter.

Dennis, himself a Michigan native, intersperses his tale of sailing a former tourist schooner, the Malabar, out of the Lakes to Bar Harbor, Maine (another sub heaven) with stories and information about invasive species, Indians, weather and specifically storms, fishing, Chicago and the forest fire it overshadowed, the "Mighty Mac," shipwrecks, and just about any other topic related to Lakes HOMES.

The writing is personable and enticing. I had the pleasure of reading most of it while camping outside of Traverse City about two months ago and could recall either by memory or while presently there some of the sights Dennis describes.

EVERY Michigan native should read this love letter to our most prominent natural resource. Really! I don't get paid to say this, just like the three visitors to this blog aren't paid to visit. (Ahem, check's in the mail). Honest! Fall would be an opportune time to delve into your culture, people. Then again, this would make a wonderful Christmas gift. According to our corporate masters it's time to start thinking about that.


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"Therefore whoever is not illuminated by such great splendors in created things is blind. Anyone who is not awakened by such great outcries is deaf. Anyone who is not led from such great effects to give praise to God is mute. Anyone who does not turn to the First Principle as a result of such signs is a fool.Therefore open your eyes, alert your spiritual ears, unlock your lips and apply your heart, so that in all the creatures you may see, hear, praise, love and adore, magnify and honor God, lest the entire world rise up against you." -- St. Bonaventure, Itinerarium mentis in Deum

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"...[K]eep in mind that a human being is not made for the processing of data, but for wisdom; not for the utilitarian satisfaction of appetite, but for love; not for the domination of nature, but for participation in it; not for the autonomy of an isolated self, but for communion." --Anthony Esolen,  Foreword to Beauty in the Word by Stratford Caldecott.