Thursday, December 19, 2013

Gliding North

Christmas tree in Lexington, Michigan

I had shopping and errands to do in the city today. A trip to the Detroit area takes me down along the shoreline of Lake Huron. I make the run from Huron County south to Port Huron and then on to the Detroit area.

Port Huron is usually the start of city congestion and traffic. A border town, Port Huron's roads are often crowded. This time of the year, the area from the Blue Water Bridges and the border crossing to the mall two miles north is busy. Even the downtown gets a fair amount of traffic.

So, tonight, coming north, I was conscious of my very rural life. Driving north, I listened to XM radio's Holiday Pops station. Their evening concert with the Canadian Brass playing Christmas music was a delightful way to glide north along the shoreline.

Usually there is quite a bit of traffic coming out of the city. By the time I get to Lexington, vehicles have pulled off the road. People reach their destination or head down a side road. By Port Sanilac, still 21 miles to go, the road is empty. Now I can see the sky. The lights of the city are behind me. To the right is the great void of Lake Huron.

Tonight the lake sparkles. Ice and snow coat the shoreline and extend out toward deeper water. It is cloudy, but moonlight brightens the night through the cloud cover.

I have lived further north than Huron County. When I was in grade school, we lived in central Wisconsin, not up north, but more north than The Thumb of Michigan. Gliding north means leaving warmth and people and city behind. When one heads north, one is moving out to where there are less people and more space.

Tonight, gliding north, I was particularly conscious of the northern flavor of my life. The snow. The empty roads. The big brass holiday music on the radio. Christmas coming soon. Gliding north is a pretty good way to approach this time of the year, especially for us people of Great Lakes country where there is cold and winter. . . and Christmas, and home.

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