I sat there and forgot and forgot, until what remained was the river that went by and I who watched… Eventually the watcher joined the river, and there was only one of us. I believe it was the river.
Norman Maclean, A River Runs Through It
In all things of nature there is something of the marvelous
The view last weekend from the high banks of the Au Sable River in northern Michigan. 100 years ago or more, rugged loggers rolled cut trees down the sandy “Rollways” to the river, which took them to sawmills on Lake Huron. Such work was fraught with danger and it wore men out by their mid-30s. The lumber built the burgeoning towns of the American Midwest, but vast areas of Michigan were denuded. During the 1930s Depression, a nearby plaque explains, 400 million trees were planted to reforest northern Michigan, by out-of-work young men who joined the federal “Civilian Conservation Corps.” Theirs was a dual renewal–that of the forest and of the young men’s hopes for the future.
Among the ancient pines of Michigan’s northern forests, I happened upon this jewel of a lake. Serendipity is a gentle goddess.