How Our Landscapes Define Us–Shorelines
Landscape ‘ is never simply a natural space, a feature of the natural environment.[E]very landscape is the place where we establish our own human organization of space and time’
–John B. Jackson, Discovering the Vernacular Landscape
I grew up as a lakeshore girl on the beaches of the Leelanau Peninsula, past Northport, down a private road, miles from children my own age. Solitary, I roamed the dunes and old logging trails for hours only returning home when my tummy grumbled. Petoskey stones and beach glass filled my pockets and grasses whispered stories, my imagination ran wild.
Fast as the wind my anger crashed like white caps on sand bars and boulders. I was a force to be reckoned with. I dove off dunes, reckless, arms flailing for balance in the air, my feet thumped solid and hard. I knew “due north” instinctively and I could feel a weather front shift.
I was everything Michigan, tanned and untamed until Fall when we would return downstate to suburbia. I never quite fit in there. Neat rows of homes with uniform lawns. Street lights and porch lights so oddly defined angular shapes. I prefered the night sky on a dark beach with it’s deep blues and blacks, sand cold beneath my barefeet. Water defined the shore but it was ever changing.
Shorelines call me like a line of poetry. I’m tugged by waves. This is a new peninsula. I have aged and finding definitions is a terrible feat best left undone. The water color is harder as is the skyline on Superior and with it I reflect with deeper contrasts. Light and Edge fight with Dark and Mist. I constantly feel on the verge of what must come next, never grasping, never knowing.
Posted on December 8, 2008, in Nature Writing, Spiritual, Verge and tagged landscapes, Lk. Superior, Lk. Michigan, memoir, Photos by Kim Nixon, shorelines, Writing as a means of discovery. Bookmark the permalink. 7 Comments.