Today I have the great pleasure of introducing today’s author and member of Team LEco, Madisyn Jensen. You’ll probably recognize her face, as she’s a regular in our social media and site photos, but Madisyn is a surfer, water-keeper, traveler, dancer, yogi, and beautiful soul. She’s also a blogger at Just Stay Stoked and today we’re lucky to have her share her lake-love with us, as she shares why she chooses to protect Lake Michigan, one of our beautiful and GREAT Lakes. Thank you for being you, and bringing your love to our team and Mama Michigan.
“Protect what you love.”
I think it is safe to say that we’ve all heard these Cousteau words at some point. I’ve come to really appreciate this little quote and keep it at the forefront of my head in regards to protecting our planets waters, especially the one in my backyard, Lake Michigan.
For me, Lake Michigan is more than just a bountiful natural resource.
For me, Lake Michigan is family. The shores of Lake Michigan have been the background to more beach nights than I can count, beach nights spent surrounded by all of my favorite people in the world, a few cool drinks, dancing in the sand to “The Weight” by The Band and endless belly laughs. Mother Nature is great at providing a pastel painted golden hour to make these lake nights feel a little extra special.
For me, Lake Michigan is therapy. Just the sight of her vast, watery horizon calms my troubled head. Her shores help me feel comfort, relief, and safety -the safety to just be able to breath and let go of all the clutter in my mind. Nothing quite compares to a dip in the cool water of Lake Michigan though. It’s hard to feel too bad while submerged in the fresh Lake Michigan water.
For me, Lake Michigan is my home surf break. Lake Michigan serves as my classroom to learn all things surf even if it means I have to do so in the middle of winter under a thick layer of neoprene, with nothing but my eager face exposed. Even though I may be daydreaming of warm waves while ice is forming on my wetsuit hood, I am thankful for my ability to get out and enjoy the Lake and all her beauty regardless of the season.
For me, Lake Michigan is the backdrop to my first job, to the family business. My family is among the many who make a living thanks to this natural resource. I couldn’t think of a better high school summer job than working concessions right on the beach with my best friends. Not only did it intensify my love for the lake, but it allowed me to spend my days witnessing the happiness and joy that Lake Michigan and her shoreline brought to so many other people each day!
For me, Lake Michigan is a privilege. I am so lucky to be along an abundant stretch of water, especially a fresh one. Fresh, clean water is a privilege (though I firmly believe it should just be a basic right), and through my travels I have seen what communities without it look like. To disrespect and not value this resource feels like a slap in the face to those who don’t have access to clean water.
Lake Michigan is so much more than just a lake to me. It truly is one of the loves of my life and I aim to do my best, and always work to be better at protecting this beautiful thing that I love.
Want to learn more about protecting Lake Michigan? Our ECO-CONSCIOUS LIVING page is devoted to living a more eco-aware lifestyle, and we suggest following along the organization FLOW, who is the recipient of 5% of our sales!