Megan Hastings shares her “Pure Michigan Moment,” about spending her childhood immersed in Lake Michigan’s natural beauty and how she wants her children to do the same.
I grew up in an old yellow brick farmhouse in Oceana County. During my childhood, Lake Michigan was like a third parent: It taught me how to stay above water, how to laugh at myself and how to view the world in the colors of the sunset. My playground was an orchard: It was always there, waiting for play—for me to climb, to run and to taste.
When I grew up, I moved away to see the world and what it held for me, but it wasn’t long before Michigan called me home. That’s because you are what you love … and I am Michigan.
Now I am a mother of three, and at every opportunity, I make sure their childhood is just like mine. I tell my kids to take off their shoes so the beauty of this special place soaks into their soles/souls. That probably sounds silly, but I want the lake where I spent my childhood days to be a third parent to them, too. I want them to feel the sand beneath their feet as they walk along the shores of Lake Michigan, and I want them to feel the springy cushion of the grass growing between orchard rows. I am Michigan, and now, my family is Michigan, too.