This winter I came to realize there is a correlation between 82% of Lake Michigan being frozen and my sister being in a wheelchair.  That correlation is isolation. Confinement.  The power of the water and of the body isolated from movement.  Both of their insides roaring to move but being completely confined by ice - or a wheelchair. Her insides are so alive and dying to be expressed and to move, but her body will not let her. Her body keeps her locked in one position day after day, night after night; much like the frozen lake longing to thaw and for its waves to be free once again. But do not mistake isolation for unhappiness or for ruin.  Even in restricted places there is room for love and for light to shine through.  Does the sunset bring less warmth to our hearts and eyes in the winter? No. Do you have to be unhappy if you cannot move about freely or talk? No. The sun reflects its beautiful colors spread over the ice in a million rays.  Instead of swimming, people explore this phenomenon of nature climbing the cliffs of ice and looking in awe out to the distance where all they can see is ice. Isolation does not mean ruin, it does not mean unhappiness and it does not mean beauty is restricted. The most amazing lesson I have learned through my sister is that even though she cannot use her body to express herself, or words to say how she is feeling, she has more expression and more love shining through her eyes and her smile than anyone I have ever come in contact with.  Everywhere we go she is radiant with love and people notice.  Strangers come to talk to her, hold her hand and look into her eyes.  She heals people, she projects love and kindness onto them, she inspires people.  She does all of this while being able to use no words and no gestures. On frozen Lake Michigan nature stares you straight in the eyes and it is beautiful.  The waves isolated in ice or free and hugging the warm sand, it stares you straight in the eyes and reminds you that you are small and you are loved.

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