At times I feel both blessed and cursed by my birthplace. I was born and raised in the city and countryside of Michigan, a state whose weather defies qualification, where water leaks out of an even slightly big hole, and trees continually fight farmers for their right to the land. Deer and coyotes invade the cities, reminding us of our tenuous hold over nature, and squirrels are so rare in the country that to see one is a surprising joy even as it creates sorrow to know it probably won’t live long in a wilderness dominated by hawks and the occasional raccoon or coyote.
Michigan is a state where the line between man and nature is both definite and uncertain, if you have the eye to see it, and that is what captures your heart so that, when traveling to the most rugged mountains, flattest plains, or endless oceans, you find them lacking to the blend that Michigan offers. If you desire rocky hills, the upper peninsula is the best attraction (from what I’ve heard. I’ve only been there when I was a child, so I don’t really remember). If an unreachable horizon is all you wish for, the ice age was kind enough to carve away the hills in central Michigan so that you need never meet the end of the horizon. And if you have an unquenchable love for water, you need never go unsatisfied. We have streams, ponds, rivers, lakes, snow, ice and, of course, we are surrounded by the beauty of the Great Lakes, bodies of water large enough to fool you into thinking you are gazing upon the ocean if not for the lack of salt in the air and water.
It is a beautiful place, my home, and it pains me to think that I will one day have to leave it. As much as I love traveling, no place that I have been to yet has had the beauty to match that of Michigan. How can I possibly find somewhere else to live?
Yet, each new place is exciting, fresh. I am offered a view of life without water in Arizona, constant mountains in West Virginia, and a diverse culture that varies with the landscape in Scotland. Having Michigan constantly tugging me away when experiencing so many new things is a pain. How dare it?
We have a love and hate relationship, my home state and I, and I don’t mind all that much. I think everyone is like that to a certain degree. We want to leave the home of our parents but we secretly yearn to return, we want to escape the small town we’ve grown up in but miss the peace it offers, and we want to travel but miss our home state, even our home country. We are always drawn back to our roots, no matter how far we go in life.