For all practical purposes

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For all practical purposes, it’s autumn. Fall, as we say over where I’m from. Yesterday it was the fog that came rolling in, today it’s the rain.

I love fog, the element most closely connected with the Great Spirit, Gitche Manitou. In the religion of the Chippewa (or: Ojibwe) Indians, “manitou” is the spirit inside every living creature, down to a blade of grass. Even stones are considered to be “living”. Mackinac Island, to the west of Drummond Island, was considered the home of Gitche Manitou. When the fog rolled in, Manitou was “home”.

Fog spells great danger if you’re on a boat, and will creep up on you softly, quickly, without warning. I was once out in a canoe on my own, lost in the fog for about 4 hours, first paddling just to find my way back to the Drummond Island coast from out among the many surrounding islands, and then following the coastline back to a place I recognized. The fog teaches you great respect. It makes you pay attention.

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