On Earth, as it is in Heaven: U.P. 2008

Falls at Presque Isle, Lake Superior

Falls at Presque Isle, Lake Superior

On Thursday of last week, our family returned from almost two weeks in the wilderness of Northern Michigan.  This was our annual two-week camping trip in Michigan.  We spent 4 days at Big Knob State Forest Campgroundon the northern shore of Lake Michigan.  We, then, trekked 250 miles to the Western U.P. to the Porkie’s (Porcupine Mountains Wilderness State Park) and spent 8 days on the Lake Superior shore.

Sometimes, I am embarrassed driving along the Lake Superior shoreline.  There are stretches of Highway 28 where the water is so blue, the inlets are so beautiful, I begin to cry.  

There is something spiritual about the Great Lakes for me.  If our bodies really are 90% water, growing up in West Michigan, I was 90% Lake Michigan via the Grand River for the first 18 years of my life.  Living in Chicago, with its large water inlets protruding out thousands of feet into Lake Michigan, I am again 90% of the lake and its blue.  Perhaps, something in my body knows.

Superiors Rocky Bottom

Superior's Rocky Bottom

Walking out off the stoney shore of Lake Superior into the 65 degree water, I could not walk far enough to not see clearly the rocky bottom.  The rocks shimmered a variety of colors, white, reddish, composite, and blackish-blue. 

Being in the Northern Woods, I dream of being a naturalist.  I dream of a little log cabin, a wood-fire stove, and daily routines of reading, writing, and work.   I attribute that dream to the one who plant its seed: my grandfather, Kenneth Winstrom. 

Bottom of Rainbow Falls

Bottom of Rainbow Falls

It was my Grandpa who taught me to stay in the woods, build a fire in the rain, chop a tree, split wood, choose and widdle a roasting stick, roast marshmallows, adore the cool fresh water, fish pike & walleye, respect a rifle, love the forest, and sit in the wilderness with the God who made it all.

I am trying to put words to a feeling.  There is something about the wilderness and its waters that puts life, even eternal life, in perspective.  It reminds me (us) that we are creatures.  Creation brings me closer to the spiritual fact of my bodily origins.  I am, you are, part of the earth.   Some say we are humans having a spiritual experience.

I suggest, we are animals – creatures – attempting a human one.


5 responses to “On Earth, as it is in Heaven: U.P. 2008

  1. I have read this post about three times through…I get teary every time….the untouched natural beauty. God is amazing….the pictures He paints for us are unspeakable. It’s very humbling to stand on the shores of Lake Superior. Unfathomable.

    And Grandpa. That man. I adore him for what he instilled in us as his grandchildren.

    The weeks we spend with you, Matt and Margo, KT and ZZ, are the best two weeks of the year. I hold that time so dear to my heart. I love you all very, very much.

  2. BTW…your posts make me cry a lot. Good cries of course. Your words are so passionate and filled with love of Christ….blessings to you.

  3. Matt, what you write brings tears and a yearning. I have often experienced the sacredness of the Great Lakes, most often on the north shore of Lake Superior. Once as my wife and I walked on a gravel road along the Minnesota shore of Superior, we followed a path down to the shore. As the tall grass gave way to the blue water and rocky shore we were met by sacred space. I don’t know why it was sacred. I only know that God’s presence was at that place. As I held back my tears all I could do was remove my shoes and walk in quiet humbleness.

  4. Tom,

    Spirituality is geographic. I don’t care how abstract some people want to make it. Just listen to folks out west talk about the mountains. God does reach out to us through nature.

    I still think its because part of me knows that molecularly, I’m part of the water of that lake and constituted of the same dirt as those trees.


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s