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Michigan

California is beautiful to look at, but you can’t be a part of it like you can in Michigan.

Jennifer Granholm 

Michigan is obsessive and compulsive with her weather. I realized this fact the summer I turned twenty-one; the sun glared threateningly upon endless layers of intense green, and my sister visiting from California commented quietly that Michigan is very wasteful with her colors.

California masterfully moderates it’s climate. She is content to sit most years in sedate browns and dry yellows, and only asks for a few slender months of deep blue and wet green. Quiet and unobtrusive, California is pleasant. She never surprises her residents; she never causes them to squirm.

Michigan’s irresponsibility with her weather is a rather ironic reflection of Michigan’s economic instability; she always spends more than she can afford during good times and pays rather harshly for her wastefulness during bad times. Michigan passes from a bright, fresh, impossibly pure spring into an intense, colored and heated summer; the rain and sun battle angrily and each day passes in either passionate downpour or beating humidity. Summer culminates into an explosion of fall; colors compete for initial domination as Michigan’s intensity climaxes. The denouement leads to winter: in bitter, quiet months, the sun slips softly away and silence surrenders to a grayish white – supreme in intensity and dominant in cruelty to every other color.

And what people would choose to live there, to feel the constant struggle; to live in good days that are too strong and bad days that are merciless? Some people can appreciate the acid of winter, can see beauty in it’s tragedy because they understand that sometimes broken days are the most beautiful. They know that to live intensely and experience sunburns and frostbite is better than to live quietly and unobtrusively with flawless skin and mediocrity.

Tuck said it to Winnie the summer she turned fifteen: “Do not fear death, but rather the unlived life. You don’t have to live forever…you just have to live.  And she did.” – Tuck Everlasting

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