Glencoe Beach, January, 2005
Around the first of the year I always touch base at the beach. Something about communing with Lake Michigan that satisfies a funny restlessness that surfaces around now.
I don't know whether it's because I've lived close to its shores almost all my life that it can make me feel peaceful, or whether there's something inherent in the lake itself. I've stood at the edge of Lake Superior several times and always felt ill at ease. As if there were a malevolent spirit lurking in its deep, dark waters.
Lake Michigan has never felt threatening to me, regardless of where I've been. On a rocky shore in Northern Wisconsin. Watching the sunset on a deserted white sand beach in Southern Michigan. Sunning on the dunes in Indiana. Waiting for the mailboat on one of the Manitou islands. Fifteen miles out on a sailboat. Or crossing on the ferry from Milwaukee.
Today I drove the two miles just to see what might be stirring the waters here around Chicago. I had no plans to get out of the car. But, after I got there, I decided to drive all the way from the top of the bluff down to the boat landing. I took a lot of pictures, but this one, slightly blurred because I moved the camera, actually captures the mood of the day best.
I also noticed something else. When I drove back up to the top, I watched about twenty other cars drive up, take a look, turn around, and drive off again. About a minute apart. One after another after another. I guess the lake is a touchstone for a lot of other people, too.