Last night, I stood in Lake Michigan and watched my dogs-- ages 14 and 10-- swim the same path they've followed since they were both just pups. Later, I met a dear friend at Dudley's Deck, and we listened to the community band while watching the moon rise and reflect along the Harbor. We didn't have to talk about how good life is in northern Michigan, because the evening air was full of this truth. I gathered these little moments, collected the reminders of simplicity, connection, tradition.
This morning, I met another friend for coffee. She's smart and young and talented-- a creative force who grew up here and now calls a big, hip city home. We talked a lot about how it is to come back to a place that in some ways feels like it never changes: the lake is always the lifeblood, family and community remain, and town still holds its tiny charm. One thing that's always been missing, my younger friend said, is the raw creative energy of a place pulsing with possibilities.
And I was happy to tell her I think, in some ways, that's changing.
We'll always be limited (in a good way) in size. We'll always be a slower paced, nature-focused, summer-loving community. We'll always hold dear the roots and authentic small town values that define us. But in the past year, we've also opened up new space for creators, innovators, dreamers, and those who simply want to make a positive impact. We've written about a lot of these folks, ideas, and inspirations-- and we've heard lots of great feedback from our readers about what's happening here. That's why we're supporting the Harbor Creators Collective this weekend, a two day celebration of all of the above that's being put on by Coolhouse Labs as their end of summer event. Along with the cohorts and staffers at Coolhouse, the event is chalked full of other Harbor staples-- from workshops led by bookstore owner Katie Capaldi, Belle Aquatic jewelry maker Kate and more to a creators fair highlighting locally made kayks, lake art, technology, food (our own culinary columnist Maureen Abood will be there) to kayaking and paddleboarding and even a Pond Hill pig roast.
I'm asking anyone who is in town, can come to town, or knows someone in our area who believes in the oldest of values: to support the Harbor Creators Collective.
Because that's another moment to collect: make good art, tell the stories, celebrate community, and make a difference. We're so very fortunate to live in a place where we can honor and lift up folks who think and work and dream. Small towns. Big ideas.
It's pretty great.
In spirited partnership,
Visit www.coolhouselabs.com to learn more about the Harbor Creators Collective and purchase tickets for the weekend-long event.