During the years I was studying at Michigan State University, I still spent summers on Beaver Island. I drove snakes out of the house, tore up wild juniper, and planted potatoes. I planned alterations to the house and yard. When I went back to campus in the fall, it took me two weeks to get used to the sounds of the city, after the quiet of my home on the island. I often heard the rustling of my old maple trees in my dreams.
This piece speaks to the hold my little piece of property had on me: the organizing and planning; the upkeep; the maintenance; the coming-to and going-away. A “chanty” is a little – often irreverent or funny – song. That seemed appropriate, as this was not serious business, but just a little tribute to land that always held a place in my heart.