Thursday, July 12, 2012

The Flat Surface of Lake Michigan & the Question of Being

It's like walking into a giant, baptismal font--the sand wooping and whipping under my feet--it's the only sand in the world, besides 6 other beaches, that sings when human feet scuffle along these happy grains.  That's what my 9th grade science teacher Mr. Taylor said.  I've passed it along to my daughters, this bit of knowledge; it's the unique sand that calls aloud with joy when we punch it with our swinging heels.  And you look up and out, and ah, there it is...Lake Michigan.  She sits in calm, cool, collection like a whole universe unto herself, waiting to be discovered, floated upon, washed in; she longs to surround with a bath of bliss the newly converted to her salt-free shores, blanketing them in her serenity.  People move to west Michigan just because of her.  She is the missing spoke in the wheel that makes up my life.

It's good to wade in slowly in the heat of July and watch your feet careen over the ripples in the sand on the bottom through the crystal clear water, where there is nothing to fear: no large animals or reptiles or things with sharp teeth.  Not even a wisp of seaweed.  A gentle haze rests upon the horizon meeting the sky in different shades of blue.  A blazing disk, pasted in the sky like a wafer, sits without word or thought, and all is silent.  Even my mind is at ease in this placid pool, whose shores travel as far as the eye can see.   At this moment, the windows of the world open and whisper in my ear, asking me questions about big ideas.

How did she, this mothering, aqua tranquil, come to be?  And how is it that the sphere in the sky is so perfectly round, and this everlasting spring we call a Lake, how is it that its horizon is so fair, kissing the line of the equally blue firmament above?  And how am I here, a thinking, reasoning animal, contemplating that which I am from?  Or am I from a different place?  Did I rise from the sea or the dust?  Am I part of the eternal storm and slow, calming march of evolution's progression and red teeth, or am I the mark of a creator's hand?  Either all of this celestial beauty is eternally ethereal, or it is indeed finite, and ex nihilo.  If that latter, how do I know the nature of this being?

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