With Every Leaf a Miracle . . . 5/31/2010

With every leaf a miracle . . . and from this bush in the door-yard,
  With delicate-colour’d blossoms, and heart-shaped leaves of rich green
    A sprig with its flower, I break. . . . Walt Whitman, “When Lilac Last in the Door-Yard Bloom’d”

There’s really nothing I can say about lilacs that hasn’t already been said.  I can repeat such adjectives as dazzling, stunning, delicate, magnificent, divine, lovely, exquisite, and gorgeous.  I can talk about the scent of the lilacs – their bouquet, their essense, and their fragrance.  But it’s only when you walk the streets of Mackinac Island, surrounded by the beauty and the perfume of hundreds and hundreds of decades-old lilac bushes in full bloom, that you grasp those descriptions as something more than abstract.  When you are here, the lilacs seep into your pores and delight your eyes to the point that you walk around with your mouth formed into a permanent “oh my goodness” expression.  You inhale and are almost intoxicated with the sweetness of the air. 

There is really no need for captions on these photos – and the only reason I add them is to give you the location.  Quite simply, these are – the lilacs of Mackinac Island.

Beside the Gatehouse Restaurant on Cadotte Avenue.


The Governor of Michigan's Summer Residence.

The Grand Hotel

At the southern end of Cadotte Avenue.

School yard lilacs.

Twin lilac trees beside the tennis courts at The Grand Hotel.

School-yard lilacs.

Marquette Park (thank you to Mackinac Historic State Parks for photo).

Four Corners lilacs.


A row of lilacs behind the school.

Dark and light shades of lilac flowers.


It’s been another beautiful island day.  We attended church this morning, and Rev. Carroll delivered a wonderful Memorial Day service.  The church was packed, and many veterans were in attendance – both local and island visitors.  A memorial wreath was placed in the church in honor of those who died in battle or in service to this country.

This afternoon, on the 5 o’clock ferry, the Forrester family from Atlanta arrived – road weary but very happy to be here.  Mike is another Mackinac Island blogger, and he and wife Jeanine and daughter Siena will be here for the whole month of June.  We are excited these friends will be on the island – right downtown where we can pop in occasionally!

Mike and Siena, waving from the front of the Arnold ferry as it pulled up to the dock.

Jeanine, Mike, and Siena's first steps on the island for the summer. Thanks, Jillski, for this great shot!


Marge, from The Cottage Inn, walked over to welcome the Forrester's to the neighborhood. That's Lucy, one of the family dogs. Finn, their Australian Shepherd, and Bear were in the big backyard playing.

Welcome to the island Mike, Jeanine, and Siena!

See you back here tomorrow with the island Memorial Day celebrations! 


12 thoughts on “With Every Leaf a Miracle . . . 5/31/2010

  1. Hi Bree,
    Your pics of the lilacs are beautiful. We finally made it to the island today and it was everything (even more) that we imagined it to be. I love that now when I read your blog, the places and names of streets will be a little familiar. We are going back tomorrow to spend the day, and take more pics to post on my blog. Then we will leave to head for Niagara Falls. So glad we found your blog and it will be a keeper for me.

    • Hi Deana! If you’re going to be on the island today, there is a Memorial Day service at Veterans Park on Market Street at 11:30 a.m. Also, if you are looking for the best views on the island for lunch, try the tea room at the fort. You will have to pay the fort admission, but the views are worth it – and the food is always good!

  2. Brenda,

    What can I say?

    I thought of something. I’m almost never at a loss for words.

    The fragrance, the fragrance, the fragrance……the fragrance.

    Would you please bottle some and send it to me?

    • If I figure out a way to do that, Lowell, you will be first on my list of recipients! Have a wonderful day!

  3. WOW! That’s all I can say!. I so wish we had smell-a-vision on the computer cuz I swear I could almost smell them.
    Enjoy your time on the island Mike and family! That’s silly I know, because how could you not enjoy your time on such a beautiful place. 🙂

  4. Good morning Brenda..We had a wonderful day yesterday on the Island..the smell of the lilacs was something to remember!! But our best part was spending some time with Alyssa. I also visited Jill at the bookstore..got a photo of her..told her it was to prove to you that I was there!! 🙂 🙂 It was a perfect day weather wise and all in all a day we won’t forget!! God bless..enjoy your Memorial Day!!

  5. Beautiful, beautiful pictures of the Lilacs. I so wish that they could last all summer long so a lot more people could experience them.

  6. Greetings Bree,

    My daughter found your site and the photos are wonderful.
    My family has a love of Mackinac also. My husband and I honeymooned there 39 years ago this August at the Lakeview when they had rooms with and without bathrooms, hardwood floors with throw rugs, wrought iron beds and claw foot tubs.
    We visited almost every year since then.
    I had the opportunity with my daughter to serve in the Scout Service Camp at Fort Mackinac as an adult leader for 15 years! We were Troop #609 Mitten Bay Girl Scout Council out of Saginaw. My daughter served for six years becoming the Senior Patrol Leader her last year.
    Being part of that program makes Mackinac very special with friends and memorie I will never forget.
    We are coming to the island the end of June to stay at the Island House. I have stayed almost at every hotel and B&B but the Island House is a first.
    Next year we will be celebrating our 40th Anniversay on the island with our two children, their spouses and our four grandchildren. I have been searching the various places to see who can accomodate six adults and four children.
    I especially commend you for taking the time to talk to the tourists as sometimes the local people do not take the time to do that.

    Pat Steele
    Vernon, MI

    • Hello Pat, and welcome!

      What a wonderful and special history you have with the island! As I was covering the Memorial Day Service today downtown, the first group of scouts (boys) for the summer were arriving on the island. Now everything is in place for the season – I have to see those bright, smiling faces to assure me that the island is ready for the tourists!

      Good luck in your search for the perfect place to stay with your family next year. I assume you are trying to find a place big enough for the entire family??? For how long???


  7. Thank you for your kind response. We will be at the Island house June 27-30th.
    Just received my Town Crier today, love keeping up with the news there but your site is another great source of daily life.


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