• Dan Robinson

Now is when we need the Great Lakes and their waters

It is often said that, “Water is life,” and I’m reminded of that fact often these days. Water’s ability to create, sustain and inspire attracts me more than ever, as the news is filled with stories of pandemic, fear, and uncertainty.


I find myself needing something that feeds my spirit, that says that while the world has changed, maybe even permanently, there is a touchstone of something bigger than me. And if I can stay connected to that “something bigger,” then perhaps I will have the spirit and energy to help others today, tomorrow, and long after this moment has passed.


For a long time, I’ve felt that connection being in the presence the Great Lakes and their watershed. And I’ve long wanted to start a conversation about spirituality and the Great Lakes... what would a Great Lakes Watershed spirituality look like? How might that spirituality speak to individuals and community? What traditional and non-traditional perspectives could help form it? How can we talk about it? How can such a spirituality help protect the Great Lakes and the world in which they flow? And so many other questions...

Now seems like a good time to start, when we all need a little boost from the natural world to feed and sustain us.


This picture was taken today near where I live, along the Wolf River in Shawano, WI, whose waters eventually flow into the Bay of Green Bay and Lake Michigan.

I walked there in bright sunshine and low-40-degree weather, beautiful for a mid-March day, and the sight of the water immediately calmed me down, yet brightened me up. The river is high, which is normal for this time of year, and the colors reflect the end of a long winter. But spring is gaining on the world, and new life is around the corner, even in these challenging times.

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