We stay on the island as long as possible and then cross the Mighty Mac to the upper peninsula. Grace has waited for this all day.
We travel west along Lake Superior and soak in the wonder of sky and water.
Later He wraps us in pink and lavender and gold.
The next day we decide to hike up Sugarloaf Mountain in Marquette. (Yes, we have “mountains” in Michigan.)
We have a choice–the easy trail or the difficult trail.
We choose difficult.
She’s afraid a bear will eat her.
She’s afraid a rattlesnake will bite her.
She just wants to go back to the hotel and watch television.
But she grasps Papa’s hand, and we start the climb over roots and rocks.
The only wildlife we see is high in a tree. A squirrel scolds her for shrieking and stomping on a daddy long legs. She is sure the chatter comes from a rattlesnake.
But the closer we get to the top, the further her fears tumble.
She’s caught up in wonder and lets go of Papa.
She climbs over rocks while I worry about her tumbling into eternity.
I turn to find her sitting alone.
“It makes you feel really small, doesn’t it.” I say.
She sighs. “It makes me think about how much I miss when I sit inside and watch television.”
When it’s time to go, she offers to help me down.