I am traveling, so can't post pictures of one of the most inspirational places in the world to me - the shores of Lake Superior. I grew up across the street to this wonderful body of water and over the past week, I was able to once again hear the tremendous roar the lake can make when stirred up by fall gales. This is where I would go to play as a child, where I went in college to decompress, and where I always come when I return "home" to visit family and friends. I suspect we all have a place that is this important to us -- a place of comfort, that brings back memories.
I have run into many people I know while visiting Marquette, MI. Everyone is talking about the tragedies that happened at the lake this summer. Several people drowned in rare rip currents and a boat capsized killing two. The lake that brings tranquility to me, brought heartache to many families and many now speak of the fear they have for it and are calling for some way to prevent such accidents in the future. The beach was filled with signs warning of the dangerous currents and the need to avoid swimming in the water.
I have always marveled at the lake - its vastness, its beauty and clarity, its ability to look like a mirror one day and then be treacherously rough the next. And yes, how darn cold the water can be. The Great Lakes, especially Lake Superior, need to be respected for what they are -- a rare piece of wildness that remains. Yes, it is tragic that so many people recently lost their life in this lake -- a lake with a long history of shipwrecks and death. But, perhaps in an odd sort of way, these are reminders of the power of nature and the fact that we humans cannot subdue every last inch of the planet.
As I stood on the shoreline the other day with the strong winds hurling drops of water into my face, I was again reminded of how insignificant I am in nature's big picture. The water was midnight blue and the unusually large waves were crashing violently against the rock outcroppings. Stunning. I reluctantly drove away. My mother was getting a little bored waiting in the car trying to figure out why I am so fascinated with staring out at the lake. I smiled, feeling quite revitalized having just experienced some of nature's best medicine.