I Came. I Saw. I Conquered (and bought the t-shirt)
I am still on the road, currently in Northern Michigan, speaking at a United Methodist Chatauqua. It’s been an amazing road trip thus far — as all road trips are destined to be, really! When we return, it will have been a 2600+ mile trip in our Mini Countryman. Curious moments. Close calls on the road. Sights and sounds – beautiful and mundane, sacred and profane. Every town, hamlet, metroplex and country scene full and brimming over with it all.
I am somewhat at a loss for words (and time) at the moment to describe the depth and breadth of our experiences up to this point. So, for now, I’ll try to simply capture a scene or two.
We are here in Petosky, Michigan with several of our church staff (Dr. Tim Bruster, Rev Chuck and Peggy Graf, and Linda). We are all speaking in different venues and lectures this week — it’s been a great experience listening in on each other’s presentations, too.
But we had some free time the other day, so Dr. Bruster flew us all over to Mackinaw Island in his small airplane (Dr. B is an excellent pilot and the experience was amazing, if but brief — it’s a 15 minute flight!) The island is tiny — 3.8 square miles, population under 500, mostly forest land with a stretch of beautiful Victorian houses, inns, a couple of resorts and dozens of gift and chocolate chops crowded along a half mile stretch on the one main street that circles the island. Transportation on the island is only by horse, carriage, bike, and foot. It is also amazingly rich in beauty (as much of N Michigan is), rife with flowers of every hue and shape — roses, bell flowers, spider flowers, poppies, irises, of red, blue, yellow, purple… The island shores, homes, and streets are awash with so many colors all growing naturally and rampantly around the island.
We landed at the airstrip and caught a Taxi into the village — a covered three-bench cart pulled by two large horses! (“Exhaust fumes” takes on new meaning, by the way, on this island!)
The actual scene in the village looked more like the picture I took and included here. It was crowded — mid week, summer time, close to 15,000 visitors (in carriages, on bikes, horses, or walking in the middle of the street — BTW, being hit by a horse drawn carriage is a slow, and very awkward, experience!).
The scenes are curious and beautiful — tourists of every size, age, sex and shape; Christian youth groups, Muslim groups (some women in simple head coverings, others in very traditional Burkas), a group of “bikers” (in Harley attire) riding horses!
I’m not sure how many of the visitors were grasping the beauty, as well as the irony and subtle sacredness, of all that was present.
Typical of so many touristy spots around the country, the streets were lined with Souvenir Shops and even the obligatory Haunted Wax Museum! The T-shirt shops were, of course, ubiquitous with long lines — “over 350 “Mackinac Island” imprint options”, and the guarantee of “Your choice of imprint in 7 seconds or less”. Our line to the cash register took 20 minutes! Veni. Vidi. Vici. (Et Inducium Emi!)
Still, with all the crowd and chaos and kitsch, the beauty of the island and the hope of such a crowd finding a way to navigate their diversity with kindness and patience in the same limited space seemed such a hopeful statement for a country rooted in freedom.
Veni. Vidi. Transfigurata!
This Sunday, I hope you’ll join us in eleven:eleven as Rev. DeAndrea Dare brings an inspiring message of curiosity, personal story and the stories that don’t define us.
“Things that Make You Go ‘Hmmm’”
Rev DeAndrea Dare
Brad Thompson and the Revolution Band will be on hand with amazing music as well as Charme Robarts reading and leading worship.
StoryArc Video Craft
July 9, Room 312 (12:30-1:30)
Join others for an exciting look at the digital stories others have created and learn how you can write and create a moving moment in your life as an online short video! It’s fun, it’s community building and it’ll change how you see your own, and others’, stories!
We’ll have refreshments and light snacks for lunch.