I’ve fallen twice since Jeep put the new toe clips on my bike. The first time I cussed like a sailor, the second time, it was a slow motion fall after tasting wine at Stone’s Throw Winery. Both falls were to the left because that ankle just can’t twist itself free in time to save me. Not to be deterred by a few bruises and scrapes, I’ve ridden miles of back country roads in Door County admiring Midwestern farmland’s humble beauty.
Yesterday Jeep, BJ and Carol and I road bikes to Gills Rock then took a ferry to Washington Island where I found a delicious coffee shop called Red Cup. As we zipped through dense maple woods, it occurred to me that though I find this scenery absolutely breathtaking, it is as normal to the others as the Pacific Ocean is to me. For me, the ocean’s vastness is symbolic of life’s possibilities. However, in a thick green forest, I find peace. In the woods, I feel a longing to hunker down in a cabin surrounded by the thin tall trees. I imagine a large window where I look out at the forest while sitting by a wood stove on a thick carpet or curled up on a couch petting a cat for hours.
Today we each filled two buckets of red cherries. The temperature in the orchard rose quickly. Hot and sticky with sweat and cherry juice we drove home anticipating the moment we could jump in Sister Bay to cool off. The afternoon was spent pitting four gallons of cherries and looking out over the bay. In the afternoon, we drove across the Peninsula and took a dip in the cooler waters of Lake Michigan. Lake water is so gloriously clear and soft!
Not too long after our swim and darkness fell, the smell of rain filled the air. Jeep and I headed out to the dock to watch the storm approach. As soon as we sat down a lightning bug flew over my shoulder. I squealed with delight – never having seen a lightning bug up so close. The sky lit up with heat flashes, coloring the clouds orangish-red. A golden bolt of lightning illuminated the UP coast 30 miles away (Michigan’s Upper Peninsula). Cloud to cloud lightning had a bluish-white tinge. Then came the dance of rain across the water. I’ve never heard rain approach like that. The thunder boomed, so we headed back to the house. Soon, fat summertime rain drops pattered on broad maple and beech leaves. The wind blew through the house lifting the curtains.
And I learned that a summertime storm cleanses the air and the mood like nothing else can.