It happens each year about this time: the treeline turns a yellowish green against a backdrop of blue sky. A carpet of green, with the white bursts of trillium, spreads across the forest floor. It's the day of unfurling, waking up, stretching toward the sun.
Winter lasted (as winter is meant to do) long enough to have us craving our own unfurling, and so the recent bout of warmth and clear skies did more than shift seasons for the lake and landscape. It has shifted the community too, toward a place of hope, growth, and rejuvenated energy. An awakened sense of celebration and honoring the good of what's happening here has folks smiling in the streets and woods, on the trails and beaches all across our area.
It's so fun for us to put together issues where we can tell the stories of people with big ideas and passion for independent businesses (and we've had a whole host of new energy to write about lately). At the same time, we have longtime companies and organizations doing important work to preserve and protect the beauty of this place, and we get to tell those stories too. When we look at all the great things happening-- completed trails perfect for commuting or recreation, longstanding traditions like the Little League parade, downtown and uptown shops getting facelifts or inside renovations to get ready for the summer season-- it feels like we've turned a corner in Harbor Springs. It feels like years of discussion and dreaming are starting to morph into reality, less through formal decree and more through an organic process of people taking stock of what matters, and holding those values up as a collective community.
This newspaper has been owned by the same family for more than four decades. I've been here for 13 years this summer. We've spent countless Tuesday mornings putting together features, photos, and news articles that reflect the spirit of our town on any given week, and there's no mistaking the optimism we're hearing and giving voice right now. As another small business in this community (one that's been around longer than most), this shift toward true community, toward supporting each other and looking for the good in what's happening in town, it matters.
Soon, we'll all find ourselves in the thick of the busy season. Shops will be full, restaurants will have waits, our schedules will bulge with family, friends, guests, and all the activities northern Michigan offers during the summer months. As always, we'll look around at the end of the night and think, "This. Right here and now. It's so great." But before that happens, I'd like us all to take a deep breath, wash away the always tough month of April, and repeat those words in the present moment. Because we're shifting, waking up, unfurling too. And the more we turn toward the sun, the more we'll be able to enjoy it.