I grew up in the most beautiful spot in the world, on the northern shore of Lake Superior, where my siblings and I roamed the woods and shoreline from dawn 'till dusk every day of the year.
It still surprises me that my heart now longs for rolling hills of land-locked grass pastures rather than the rocky cliffs and pristine waters of my youth. How could a person not want to live on Lake Superior forever?
I went home last weekend, and despite my current love affair with farms, there is still a place in my heart for the place it all started, the place I grew up, the place where although our childhood paths are long grown over, they still weave in and out of my childhood memories clearly.
We fed the seagulls out on the rocky point where I used to spend hours exploring and dodging cold lake winds by hiding on the leeward sides of the sun-baked rocks to soak up the cool northern sunshine.
I wandered around the yard where my sisters and I bounded like gymnasts across the springy grass, dreaming of parallel bars and balance beams that never materialized.
I walked down the now beautiful boardwalk stairway towards our private beach, an access that used to be a simple footpath that clung to the contours of the cliff side and threatened to slip downhill towards the beach after every heavy storm.
That beach was another place that consumed hours of our play-time, acting out scenarios of shipwrecks and pirates, stranded on our "island" oasis. When we got hungry, we "fought" our way up the cliff side and discovered our own house - we were saved from certain starvation!
Gitchee Gumi is the alma mater of my childhood, and she will always be deeply connected to my soul.
But now my soul has been expanded to hold another place, a place to sink roots deep into the earth and grow both our food and our spirits.
After 7 years of renting houses, we will finally have a home again.
Our very own farm.