Today I am up in northern Minnesota in Beaver Bay for a fall weekend wedding. I am attending this wedding with my daughter, who is in the ceremony. The bride is a young woman I have known since she was born, the year before my daughter. I am so excited to see her walk down the aisle in such a beautiful setting. The trees are at their peak color and look like Candy Corn on the shores of beautiful Lake Superior. The weather is chilly, but the scenery and company are amazing.
On the way up to the North Shore with my daughter, we stopped in Duluth for some food, then decided to take our time to see a few sights. We stopped at the Split Rock Light House, so we could take a hike down to the rocky shores of our beautiful Great Lake. My daughter said she had never been to Duluth and it was her first time to see Lake Superior.
This realization made me feel like I had failed my daughter somehow! I am from northern Minnesota on the Iron Range side. We have always gone to visit family, just skimming by Duluth/Superior area, to get to where we were going on holidays or family reunion trips. Yet as close as we had been, I had never taken her to see the majestic and stunning scenery of what the North Shore of Lake Superior had to offer.
I am a Boundary Waters girl, I like to rough it, because I enjoy the peace and solitude that comes with being in the middle of God’s country. My daughter is not a ‘roughing it’ kind of girl. She likes plumbing and the internet with a warm bed to sleep in. It had never occurred to me that I had never brought her to this more populated, yet still environmentally beautiful, area that Minnesota has to offer.
What stuns me even more is that it took me 25 years to realize that I had taken the Minnesota, I had grown up knowing, for granted! I had not found the time to share my experiences with my daughter when she was younger. As I expressed my thoughts to my daughter I said:
“I feel like I somehow failed you as a Mother! I did not show you ‘why’ I love Minnesota as much as I do. I took it for granted, somehow thinking you just didn’t enjoy the outdoors as much as I do.”
My heart felt so heavy at this realization. Yet I was thankful to have the opportunity to be in the moment, standing on the boulders of Lake Superior, with my favorite person on the Planet.
She said. “Mom, to be fair, I probably would not have appreciated it or enjoyed it as much as I am now.”
My eyes filled with tears I did not let fall. I did not want her to see me so emotional about my inner strife. We were in fact having a great time exploring and enjoying the large waves crashing around us, as we carefully navigated the rocky shores of Lake Superior.
Instead I told myself. “This has got to change! I need to take initiative to show my baby girl; ‘why’ I really do love Minnesota as much as I do.”
From this moment forward, I will not take for granted the beauty of the State I love so much. We have plans to explore Minnesota together a lot more often now. It is because I love Minnesota so much that I am willing to change my comfortable life working from home to go work in St. Paul at the Capital.
My goal is, and always has been, to protect the Minnesota we know and love for future generations.
My goal is to work to protect and restore the nearly 50% of Minnesota’s waters that are already too polluted to eat the fish from. My goal is to protect our waters from further pollutions like the mining proposals that could devastate the Northeastern Region on Minnesota.
I totally know that Northern Minnesota is not ‘in my district’ as the central Minnesota Representative of 15A. But as a State Representative, I would get a vote. I get a voice and a say and I am going to use it to protect ALL of Minnesota. So that I can spend more time showing my daughter the beauty Minnesota truly holds. Before our Lake resources are taken for granted and spoiled for the future. You can bet your butt I will fight my heart out for the blessings of my district as well.
My goal is to not make the same mistake, I had made with my daughter, and allow a whole State to take for granted the natural beauty and clean water we have been blessed with. My goal is to remind others of what we stand to lose if we proceed with the usual money hungry politics; bending to the will of forgein industry that does not respect or care what happens to Minnesota.
I will remind you that Sulfide-Copper Mining has a 90% failure rate with its contamination containment areas around the world. Leading to 500 years of pollution. Basically forever.
Five Hundred years of generation after generation not allowed to play on the shores of our beautiful great Lake Superior. Never will Adventure Sisters Stacy and I be able to Adventure in the BWCA without worry of getting sick. Multiple Generations before the most visited National Park in the Nation, the Boundary Waters Canoe Area, will be able to again host the millions of nature lovers that come to seek the peace and solitude of God’s Country. Well past yours, mine and any of our grandchildren’s lifetimes, before it’s safe again to use.
All because we took our biggest blessing of fresh water for granted for the promise of (maybe a) couple hundred jobs. Like stepping over a $100 bill to pick up a quarter. It just does not make sense to me. I refuse not to learn from this life lesson! I must learn from this heart-breaking and eye-opening experience of taking things for granted with my daughter.
Although I was sad to learn this lesson, it was delivered to me in the kindest way possible. A lesson through Joy, a blesson. I was having a fabulous time, spending girl time with my only child when Spirit kindly guided this realization to me for a reason. I must remember to count my blessings and move forward, vowing to not let this happen again.
Adventure on my friends. Remember do not take your blessings of family and healthy environment for granted. We would and will truly miss them when they’re gone.
Wishing you an abundance of joyful blessings,
Emy Minzel ~ Adventure Sister
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Stacy Crep ~ Adventure Sister