Traverse City

Puck, Meramec State Park, Missouri

I'm two weeks into my second annual adventure in Puck, and certainly not wanting for excitement.  It is hard to believe that just one year ago I was en route to Oregon to explore the rainforest, valleys, and cities.

I departed from the safety and comfort of my loving family in Austin, TX just two weeks ago and spent four arduous days travelling highways and interstates to Columbiaville, MI.

[Scenes from the road]

Correspondence, Meramec State Park, Missouri

Neighbors, Meramec State Park, Missouri

Self, Shore of Lake Michigan

For the last 8 months I'd been planning to spend the Summer on a farm there working as a chef and learning to keep bees.  When I arrived at my long anticipated destination, it was not at all what I'd imagined.  But that's not why I left.  I left because it was an unworkable situation, one in which I knew I could neither thrive nor learn.  I won't go into details any more than to say that I forgot who I was over the course of the week that I spent there.  I'm not sure that there is anything more painful.  I am still picking up the pieces and trying to remember myself.  This experience has made infinitely grateful for the people in my life who love me and can remind me of exactly who I am.  The conversations I shared with my friends and family over the last week reminded me of how this tribe in Africa sings one's song in order to remind them of their spirit.

[Scenes from Three Roods Farm]

Greeted upon my arrival at Three Roods Farm by a swarm of bees // Auspicious, I thought

Catalpa Blossoms, various states of having wilted

Peahen outside my window, Three Roods Farm

Fluffy the Cat, Three Roods Farm

The Honey Room, Three Roods Farm

Apiarists's Corner, Three Roods Farm

Needless to say, I left the bees and barn and picturesque Catalpas.  I had no idea where to go.  So I just listened, and decided to head North.

When I first arrived in Traverse City on Thursday, I was hoping to stay in the State Park in town but was disappointed to discover that it was nothing more than a large parking lot on the side of the highway with a few trees here and there.  Having just left the farm that morning, and badly needing rest and solitude I knew I couldn't stay there.  Overwhelmed and unsure of where to go, I'd pulled onto a side street and felt lucky to have happened upon a small stream, teaming with ducks.  I sat in the grass and collected myself while making the decision to head back out of town to Interlochen State Park nearby.

I spent two days there, oscillating wildly from a state profound homesickness and doubt to elated certainty of my own ability to carry on with my adventure despite my disappointment with the farm.  After a night's rest beside Duck Lake and a long hard look at good ole Rand McNally, I decided to make my way Northeast to Madeline Island in Wisconsin to spend time with my friend, teacher, and muse, Sheri.  I decided that I would spend one day and night in Traverse City, visiting the farmer's market and historic lighthouse before heading through the famed beauty of the Upper Peninsula and into Wisconsin.

     [Praying Hard for Guidance]
Fresh Solomon's Seal Rhizome, Gifted Loteria Card,
Fragrant Green Beeswax Candles, my Patron Spirit Quartz

However spending a lovely morning in Traverse City having breakfast at Frenchie's Famous, chatting with veteran Apiarists at the Farmer's Market, and relaxing beside the water, I stopped in at Discount Tire (my favorite corporation, seriously) to have them take a look at Puck's little wheels. My worst fears were confirmed.  As I'd suspected before leaving, Puck's axle is still bent.  This unfortunate malfunction causes my already tiny trailer tires to wear out dangerously fast.  SO...I'm hanging out in Traverse City until Monday to see if I can't get this "straightened out".  In the meantime I'm parked on the street behind the house of a gracious stranger who just happens to live directly across from the duck pond I first landed at a few days ago...

So here I am in Traverse City, MI; a beautiful and thriving place, named by National Geographic as one of the top 10 destinations in the world to take a Summer vacation.  Not a bad place to be waylaid, I suppose.

So far, my trip has truly exemplified the adage, "the Journey is the Destination..."  It is not easy being human.  I suppose no one ever promised it would be.  All we can do is continue to arrive here.

I'm off to help Sheri with the 4th of July Circus, to romp in the forest, play dress up, make medicine, write, cry, dig my toes into the dirt.

May I find the peace, companionship, creativity, magic, and wildness I so long for on Madeline Island...


Sophia Rose