Words and photos by National Geographic Explorer Amy Sacka
Spending time on the icy expanses of the Great Lakes gives me hope and a sense of wonder. Sometimes when the ice is changing it makes strange noises that sound like whales or massive mysterious sea creatures communicating. One time, about a mile out, the small shanty I was in started violently shaking. “Ice earthquake,” the stranger I was with said to me, and then went back to fishing. The ice was expanding. I felt alive.
Oftentimes, I’d watch the ice for hours. A little like collecting diamonds.
All along my journey on the Great Lakes, I found myself sharing space and stories with strangers. One time a man opened his home to me on Lake Michigan. As I stood in his kitchen, I began reading the sayings he had plastered across his walls, like arteries of a value system. In our time together he told me he often thinks about the people who live on the other side of Lake Michigan. “Who are they?” he says, this body of water the divider yet something like a life force between them. “I’m going to the Michigan side of the shore in about a week,” I tell him. “I’ll wave at you. Look out your window.”
Read more hopeful stories about our planet in our digital Earth Month Care Package.