The opportunity for me to see virgin stands of the last giant trees in Michigan came while I was Artist in Residence at Porcupine Mountains Wilderness State Park. Hiking the Government Peak Trail, Lake Superior Trail and Big Carp River Trail left me in awe of what Michigan must have looked like.
Huge, majestic, beings that grew for centuries in the storms and winds of Lake Superior. They strengthened their bones against the onslaught by growing roots into the rocks of the escarpment, wrapping around and through them.
They grew slowly and with purpose up to the light of the sky and
a beam of light from the sun.
What troubles me is how big business and government love to worm around the protection placed on our public lands. Lands that WE, the taxpayers own! The moves recently to go under these lands, searching for oil, gas, minerals. They put forth the argument that they are not disturbing the Park - we can still hike the trails and enjoy the wildlife and views above ground. And look at all the jobs they will create! Goodness! We should all embrace their compassion for us!
Yet they maim the land gaining access and then poison the groundwaters that flow into the streams, rivers and the largest source of fresh water on earth! They don't think about the consequences to the next generations that can never repair their damage.
We need to stand tall, like these giant trees. Grow deep strong roots. Hold on tight against the winds that conspire to fell us. We need to reach with everything we have toward the sun and harness the energy given by it instead of digging into the deep places where what we do is hidden from the light.
We need to Beam.