I spent the day yesterday at Hidden Beach on Cedar Lake interviewing people about their favorite places, and making a giant map on an old slab. People there are very open, and they enjoy the freedom they feel at Hidden Beach. I talked to one man about a quaking bog that he loves to run to and stand on. Another man told me about the Twin Lakes that you can only get to if you know someone who knows how to get there. They are secret lakes. I learned about abandoned Mill buildings in downtown, and places where the roads are perfect for doing Ollies on a skateboard. I ate grapes and strawberries with a group of youth who worked for the conservation core. Young and old came together to work on the map.
I heard over and over again about the good vibes at Hidden Beach, about the mud, about friendships and being part of a tribe. Most people described their favorite places not as physical locations, but as being with friends, being close to neighbors. We crave a sense of collectivism; people make places matter.