Saugatuck Michigan, Sherwood Forest Bed and Breakfast offers luxury. Hardwood floors, leaded-glass windows and wraparound porch add to ideal surroundings. Two suites are available with Jacuzzi-fireplace. One room sports a hand-painted mural that transforms the room into a canopied tree loft complemented by gas fireplace. Outside is a heated pool adorned with a hand painted mural of a sunken Greek ship embedded in a coral reef. Walk 1/2 block to a Lake Michigan beach and beautiful sunsets.
Saturday, May 18, 2013
Alison Swan, Poet
Blue and Green: What it Smells and Sounds Like
You can see that the sun was shining
on my head, hot but not too. Here's what you can't see: the clean coppery
aroma* of last summer's leaves, pale brown and beginning to curl up from their
flattened spots under the gone snow.
As for the soundtrack, it was peaceful
without being silent, another kind of antidote. In the background, like some
sort of sonic under-painting, the roar of Lake Michigan's surf penetrated the
whole scene even though the freshwater sea itself was hidden behind the hills
of wooded dunes that make up the shoreline where I live.
Here's what floated up, in the way of noise, from those
hills. Amid the spring dazzle of birdsong were the chamber music-like trills
and buzzes of song sparrows, and a pileated woodpecker's drumming and
cacophony. Pileateds were the inspiration for Woody the Woodpecker, both his
look and his laugh. They're large loud birds, but decidedly less gregarious
than the Warner Brothers cartoon character, heard far more often than seen. The
haunting, prehistoric chortling of a few sandhill cranes floated down
through the young leaves from far far overhead.
A mile or so in one direction someone
ran a leaf blower, a mile or so in another, roofers' nail guns popped again and
again as an old cottage got a new roof. And a jon boat motored down the lagoon
at the base of the dune on which I happened to be standing photographing the
trees. The old lighthouse, accessible best by water, is getting a substantial
makeover and the sounds of the project have punctuated these woods since last
It would be too easy to call the
sounds of the human-built world intrusions. Instead, call them reminders that I
belong to a human community. I'm glad I do and anyway I must. Around here, for
the most part, our shelters are modest. In a place people have made their
living for centuries without displacing most of the wild things that call this
home, modest shelter seems just about perfect—and, interestingly enough
in these crowded times: modern. I'm glad we've left room for these mayapples.
*As far as I can tell there are three nouns in the English
language to name something that just generally smells good: fragrance,
aroma, and perfume. Couple this with the fact that we're racing
headlong into lives that are mostly visual and auditory and I see a great
opportunity for writers. We need some new words to help us hang onto olfactory
knowledge. Borrowing from other languages would be a good place to start.
Ideas? (I've long thought the same thing about love, but that's another