When I moved to Vermillion, South Dakota, 27 years ago, I came from the area around Lake Michigan, an area that is still dear to me. I was really worried about being so far from the “Great Lakes”. I felt that the proximity of a large body of water was part of my soul. It was the first thing I mentioned to those who welcomed us here. They said, go to Clay County Park…we have the Missouri River. This is where I stopped my first day here. Although I have to admit that it didn’t seem, at the time, comparable to the experience I had had near Lake Michigan, it became this important and healing treasure. Now the experience of being right near the Missouri River is my refuge. Before our eyes and in our senses, nature settles. In its wild and shifting shores, we are gifted with the vision of nature in all its disordered splendour. And this chaos has a purpose because it creates homes and feeds the countless species of fish, birds and wildlife, including some endangered species.