A Final Thought: Michigan in the Spring


By Mitch Allen

Editor’s Note: This spring lament is dedicated to Mitch’s sister and brother-in-law, who recently retired from Columbus, Georgia, to Traverse City, Michigan.

What mad Frenchman first settled along Lake Superior, saying, “This seems like a good spot, mon amour,” looking out onto frozen waves, a grey sky, and the silhouettes of barren trees against the blinding snow, taking his orders from Antoine de La Mothe Cadillac who later split for New Orleans.

He must have hated her—his wife, I mean—having her sweep the dirt floor of a log cabin in the God-forsaken frozen wilderness, on high alert for Algonquin, Huron or Iroquois warriors instead of warming herself with a dry burgundy beside a Parisian fire.

Three hundred years later, here I stand in muddy Wellingtons after another Alberta clipper, coaxing crocus out of the frozen loam with a hard prayer that ends with some half-wish about the Detroit Lions’ first-round draft pick and the possibility of a new Cadillac and an early spring. Amen.

I’d rather be in France—in the village abandoned by that damned Frenchman. I’d drink his wine. I’d tend his field. I’d lie in a bed of straw with his young wife and tell her not to go.


Categories: Smart Living