If you could read with eyes shut, I would tell you to shut your eyes and see what I see. The blue through the sea grass is this: cobalt water and robin-egg sky. Green breakers are white at the edges with sugar white sand beneath and are a backdrop to a tower of white clouds; a slanted conga line of them, marching along the shore. The sea grass itself is green bunches atop the dunes with tall sandy brown stems tipped in beige feathers. The cobalt blue behind the feathers is the sea. This is my vantage point: mother, daughter, sister, friend, lover, driver, cook, reader of bedtime stories, giver of morning kisses — in a chair on a low balcony, with a steaming cup of coffee and sandy feet. Can your heart ever be fuller when you are all that?

This place is directly south of the place near our Gichigami where I usually bond with my morning read and cuppa. To get here you must set down that coffee cup; turn your back to the big lake, then turn to face directly south. Now what? Drive. Drive until there is nothing but water before you again. This time the water is not icy, but baby-bath warm. Not fresh, but salt. The drive will roll you down the country beneath the sky as if you were the wide Mississippi. It will take you down roads lined with northern pines to roads lined with southern pines. There is bold expanse of farmland between the two. A sparrow will say “good morning” to you here just as she will at home, if you sit quietly enough. Pelicans soar silently above the water and suddenly dive down, down, down. Here are many familiar faces: pipers, plovers, herons, ospreys. The loons we adore in our northern lakes see what I see. They follow that long path as well — northern pines, farmland, southern pines. It looks like home — each place, far north and far south; at once similar and completely opposite. This southern water is tempered some because it is a gulf just as our bays in these Apostle Islands are buffered from the lake. Make no mistake; they are inclined to fury at times, power seethes in them both. But on this kind of day; this calm winds and calm seas and calm hearts kind of day, this is where we can rest in their waters and on their sands. Our big lake and this salt sea, from my small perspective on the shore seem like brother and sister.

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