July 9-10, 2017, Portage, IN-
My life has not been seemingly on a higher plane, since being invited to the spiritual forum that flows, quite nicely, with the tenets and expressions of faith that emanate from the Writings of Baha’u’llah. A lovely service honoured His Herald, al-Bab (The Gate), who was so brutally executed on July 9, 1850- as part of a religious pogrom, that continues, to this day, in Iran.
The Baha’i House of Worship, in Wilmette, north of Chicago, blesses the entire area and brings solace to people of all spiritual traditions and inclinations. The serenity extends to the surrounding shoreline of Lake Michigan.
Despite the solemn nature of the service, there is still much joy that the Baha’i friends take, from being together at this beloved Temple.
I was pleased to have met a new friend and mentor, at this gathering, as well as long-time fellows in Faith. The energy propelled me, rather easily, through the freeway drive that could be otherwise rather draining.
I reached Indiana, in plenty of time for a Stromboli repast, in the town of Lake Station. I did not hear back from a friend here in Portage, who has seemed a bit beleaguered, of late. My plan to camp at Indiana Dunes National Lakeshore, however, did come to fruition. There was a hint of a storm, which fortunately, did not strike the area until a bit after dawn, allowing me to break camp and head for the Dunkin Donuts. My sad looking little tent is actually quite comfortable.
I like that Mother Nature waited, until I had everything down, folded and in the trunk, before the downpour began. I felt badly for my neighbour,though. She was a Hispanic woman, with four kids in tow. I think the boys were in a tent, and she was in the camper, so it was probably only a temporary inconvenience.
After eating a breakfast sandwich and warming up with coffee, I headed to the Dunes. The early morning was dark, and could have been gloomy, if I’d let it be. There is a majesty, in the stark horizon and in the interplay between shore and lake.
There are all manner of trails, around the Dunelands- and one goes from the Illinois state line to the Michigan line. I was content, today, just to enjoy the shoreline and life in the sand dunes.
There are several estuaries, a testimony to the sheer size of the lakes.
Here is a look at Portage’s harbour house and marina.
Vegetation and flowers are always very thick, among the dunes.
The allure of reflection is ever present.
Michigan is not quite visible, through the haze, but it’s there, way beyond the steel mill.
There is a fine interplay, at long last, between conservation and metallurgy, in this often buffeted area.
The “closeness” of Chicago? At least, the haze is not strong, to the north and west.
The steel barons, long ago, had a lighthouse placed at the north end of the mill site. It is almost a stone’s throw, from the public walkway, west of the mill.
Here is the beach area, of the Portage shoreline. A few hardy souls were here, in search of at least a morning’s catch.
Finally, this wetland area has been reclaimed, fully, from having been a Superfund waste site. Indiana’s Congressional representatives and the steel industry managed to get this one right, and wildlife thrives, in the restored hills.
July 10 was a most momentous day, with two great visits, each of which will be the subject of a post. Part XLIV (44) will feature the University of Notre Dame and Part XLV (45) looks at Elkhart, and a most unusual family farm.