Superior

By Brynn (Own work) [CC-BY-SA-3.0 or GFDL], via Wikimedia Commons

One of the things I miss about Michigan is Lake Superior.  Odd considering I only ever saw it in person a few times.  But there’s something iconic, primal yet private, and gloriously wild about this lake.

I will never forget the wood pebbled beaches, the blue white ice several feet thick bobbing by the surface, butting against sheer stone cliffs. That scraping “thonking” noise is like nothing else. You think you are listening to ships at war battering against each other in a gale.

I won’t forget feeling frost on blueberry bushes wet with moisture while the bushes were yet green and laiden with fruit. I happened to be clinging to the edge of a cliff at the time. Did I mention it was May or June?  Nope, I didn’t fall, though there were a few scares.  But it was amazing, every time.  The water even felt different than the vast, and strangely domesticated Lake Michigan.

Don’t let domesticity fool you– Lake Michigan is domesticated rather the way tigers are domesticated. They learn to play nice with humans, but they can still kill you. Mostly we survive because we learn to do the right things within the appropriate sphere of a tenuous mutual agreement.

But I still dream of Lake Superior.  Part of it, I suppose I have to blame on Nevada Barr. Sure, we’d have some arguments about belief and politics– probably more than a few. But she writes about nature like no one else, and she has a love for Lake Superior that is a joy to vicariously experience in her writings.  What is great is that she doesn’t domesticate nature or romanticize it for our benefit. Yet has a gift for the poetry and expression of that appalling yet glorious beauty that nature has in it’s raw form.  She even captures the peculiar whimsy of a state of nature, which evokes a wondrous mysticism– even in those who look up at night and only see stars and planets glittering in a vast vacuum.

Just because, I find “A Superior Death” my personal favorite.  This was entirely unsolicited and even unplanned. I’d just planned on posting a few pictures of my favorite lake. Enjoy.

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