Spiritual Places #8 The Dunes…

Lake Michigan Dunes

Lake Michigan Dunes

Spiritual Places #8  The Dunes…   http://www.dennymeyer.me

Along the shore of Lake Michigan, near where I live, is the Indiana National Lakeshore. “The Dunes” as we commonly refer to them. There are different kinds of Dunes:

Parallel dunes are series of low, linear dunes formed parallel to the shores of large shallow bays.  On shore winds formed these sands into low lying dunes. Today, some examples of parallel dune complexes can be seen at the mouth of rivers, including the Muskegon, Kalamazoo, and Grand. Remnants of several ancient bays now are coastal lakes, such as Hamlin Lake in Mason County, Silver Lake in Oceana County, and White Lake in Muskegon County.

Blowouts are saddle shaped or U shaped (parabolic) depressions in a stabilized sand dune, caused by the local destabilization of the dune sands. Blowouts, which originate on the summit or windward face of a dune, are often rapidly formed by the wind, creating narrow channels and exposing plant roots. Blowouts can create interruptions in the shape of parallel dunes that may result in deeply carved indentions called parabolic dunes. It is the combination of interwoven parallel dune ridges and U shaped depressions, including parabolic dunes, that characterizes the classic dunes from Indiana, northward to Ludington, in Michigan.

The moving sand from the blowouts often buries forests on the steep lee slopes. Blowouts may also uncover the bleached trunks of trees still standing after being buried in the dry sand for hundreds of years. These “ghost forests” are silent testimonials to ancient forests buried by blowouts in the past.

Perched dunes are some of the more famous and most spectacular land features in Michigan. They are actually wind blown sand dunes perched atop glacial moraines. Glacial moraines, common landforms in Michigan, are ridges of sand, gravel, stone or clay left by retreating glacial ice. The moraines lying along the present shoreline of the Great Lakes were subjected to wind and wave erosion. Sand, moved by waves and long shore currents, was blown up the steep faces of the moraines by on shore winds, accumulating along the summits and leeward sides, forming perched dunes. The famous dunes at Sleeping Bear Dunes National Lakeshore are a well known example. Others include those on the Manitou and Fox Islands in northern Lake Michigan and Grand Sable Banks near Grand Marais in Lake Superior. (Thanks to the Michigan DNR for this information. http://www.michigan.gov/dnr)

It is a particularly spiritual place for me for a couple of reasons. Jesus called many of his disciples along the Sea of Galilee and the waters were often featured in biblical stories of faith and trust. The waters of Great Lakes have played a very important role in my own spiritual formation. I still feel God calling to me when I walk the sands of the lake. Winter is a particularly quiet time at the lake and a good time to walk, think, and pray. So if you are ever there commune with the creator and remember how God is always at work shaping creation and shaping you.

Be Well, and don’t forget to visit at http://www.dennymeyer.me and become a follower so you get daily updates direct from my web site.

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About Denny Meyer

I've been a pastor, spiritual director, and spiritual coach and worked with thousands of people over the years. You can find the life the Creator intended for you. Contact me if you want to find out more.
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