A map of Michigan, Wisconsin, and Canada, with a focus on the Great Lakes.

I’m taking a Staycation Day today, and I am looking forward to it very much. If you’ve followed this blog for a while, it won’t be a surprise that I plan to be in nature for much of the day. If fact, I think I’m going to go kayaking!

As we start September 1, I’m also reflecting on the gift of this summer. First off, I adore summer. A few days ago, I shared that I wish we were on a rotation of a) a year with all four seasons, followed by b) a whole year of summer, then repeated consistently. I’d love that! But deep down, in addition to enjoying the warmth and the open windows, I love summer because it becomes an occasion to explore place.

I adore place my place. I love the Great Lakes region of the U.S. I decided this was going to be the summer I go to the Great Lakes an embarrassing number of times. And you know what? I delivered! I explored all five, and I visited Lake Michigan, Lake Huron, and Lake Erie a lot. Truly, an embarrassing number of times. But no regrets. I greatly needed an adventurous summer.

And place is adventurous. This is not only true when it comes to the big, regional features. This is true on daily walks. This is true in our backyard. I also took photos daily of the flowers, animals, and unique features I found, just exploring my neighborhood and my wider town. I discovered that there is so much beauty. Too often, we place it in the background, unnoticed, as we ruminate on our anxieties or stressors. Those anxieties and stressors can loom large, no doubt. But it’s a great gift to be placed and notice what is around us. In fact, this is one of the best ways to ease those anxieties and stressors.

As we start September, I hope you feel connected to your own sense of place. I hope that gifts you.

Renee Roederer

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