Actually, I was really lucky to experience beautiful weather each day that I approached a Great Lake to do my Mermaid-Tri thing this summer. Huron was calm and gorgeous. Superior was cold and choppy but extraordinarily beautiful and sunny. Erie was calm, warm, sunny. Ontario was a little overcast but still calm and pretty. And, the day I came to Lake Michigan – though quite windy -- was one of the most beautiful of the whole summer. So, I shouldn’t say that the Lakes did not cooperate with my plans – in fact, they cooperated quite nicely, in their way. I just needed to be a bit flexible on my end.
So, the day before I had planned Lake Michigan, I received an invitation from a woman I love and admire to swim in Lake Ann instead. She’s been doing this swim all summer and promised a calm, warm, lovely morning. I hadn’t even gotten the chance to swim in Superior and my swim in Ontario was, well… quite brief. So, I really wanted a good swim the morning of my DIY Lake Michigan Tri. And I got one. In Lake Ann.
I started my day with three badass women. My cousin Gaylynn. My friend Annie. And their friend Joanne. Gaylynn was a good friend of my mother’s and her mother was also good friends with my mother. In fact, her mother was my godmother. My friend Annie was my brother Mitch’s dear companion in the last six months of his life. A couple of weeks before his death, Mitch told me – and several other family members’ present – that Annie is family. And so, she is to me. If one is looking for a couple of badass, wise, wild-women mentors, one could do far worse that these two and their sweet friend Joanne. And so, Dear Reader, I think by now you realize that these types of connections and relationships hold a great deal of meaning for me. The fact that they were there for my swim – that Annie & Joanne swam WITH me (or really, I swam with them) – held a great deal of meaning for me.
So, after the lovely swim – and a brief but beautiful drive with Annie through the woods where, as we do when we get together, we talked intensely about… everything – I started off on my bike from Frankfort Beach up the Betsie River Trail. I rode the trail up to 115 and back – about 13.5 miles. Then, I returned to the beach to do my run.
This is where things got interesting.
So, I was wearing my International Mermaid Day Virtual Race Bib and running down mainstreet in Frankfort on one of the last beautiful days of the summer during the last long weekend of the summer. And my favorite part of the day was this: people seeing me run, seeing my bib, then looking up and down the street quizzically for whoever else might be doing this race. I swear people thought I was either really slow, as in the entire race had already been picked up and gone by the time I was finishing, or really fast, as in ahead of the entire pack (no one really thought this because you could tell from my pace this was not the case – but I like imagining that people thought this) or completely lost, as in I had veered from the path of the race and was just running wildfire down some random street because I couldn’t find my way back. Whatever they were thinking, it was fun to watch them wonder.
And no earth-shatteringly huge lessons from this one. Really. Just this. I consider Frankfort my home. I didn’t learn this during this tour. I have been learning this for the last ten years. Maybe the last 41 years and 10 months. I know it hasn’t been my physical home since I was 7 but it’s my home nonetheless. It always will be. And maybe for someone who feels like she’s been searching for a home since she was 17, that’s earth-shattering enough.
May you find your home with love, Teamies.
And, if you’ve found it, may you find yourself in it as often as possible.