Big storm, sturdy camper

One of the facts of life living next to any huge body of water is that you’re going to have squalls, thunderstorms, downpours, and monsoons. Big winds certainly. Maybe not monsoons but it seems like it when the flood warnings come and the water rises in the riverbeds. I had shared previously that I have a leaky window on one end of the camper. So I went to my storage and got an old tarp and some bungee cords, and because it was going to rain two days ago, I rigged up the tarp on the leaky end and secured it with the brightly colored rainbow bungee cords. A big Band Aid in other words. It rained gently two days ago, no water leaked outside so I was satisfied. That was when Mother Nature shook her head and said

“Hold my beer.”

Last night the warnings started. Torrential rain. Hail. They said 70 mph winds were coming. Then an hour later they ramped it up to 90 mph winds. Heck. NOAA said they couldn’t rule out tornados. We don’t get tornadoes up here because the lake provides a shield. So that’s when I got nervous. I checked the tarp. I had visions of the 70 to 90 mph wind picking up my camper and slinging me to South Dakota. Or Oz. (See image for what I visualized. In color). Image credit

Shaking all such nonsense out of my head I added two more bungee cords to secure the tarp to the camper. Once the tarp was secure, the wind had picked up and the heat lightning was increasing and it was getting on towards evening and black clouds were rolling in deepening the effect of ominous darkness. It was silent too. No evening birds. I felt as early humans must have felt in a time of no TV or radio and no weather forecasting, when they felt intuitively they should seek shelter and soon. I felt an urgency to getting inside but I love watching a storm come in. I was amazed how fast the clouds were moving.

I got inside. I got out the emergency candles just in case the electric went out.

Right then, the wind smacked into the camper and the camper shook with the force of it. Big drops of rain hit the aluminum roof like thunder and it deluged! All I could do was lie on the bed and watch out the side window. I saw some awesome lightning strikes. Thankfully the dire warnings didn’t come to pass. No 90 mph winds. Maybe 40. No hail. No tornadoes.

The electric stayed on and the camper was sturdy.

Today, I stapled up the ceiling where it was bowing at the seam, and finished framing the bed on the end. The project I’ve been talking about for weeks. I finally got a drill and a big staple gun, just enough tools and just enough knowledge to be dangerous. I kept thinking about Theodore Roethke’s poem The Storm …and here it is for you. Nature is bigger than us and awesome in its power but somehow we are sturdy enough and adaptive enough to continue on. I hope the awe and respect for nature’s power never leaves us.

The Storm

Theodore Roethke, 1908 – 1963

1

Against the stone breakwater,

Only an ominous lapping,

While the wind whines overhead,

Coming down from the mountain,

Whistling between the arbors, the winding terraces;

A thin whine of wires, a rattling and flapping of leaves,

And the small street-lamp swinging and slamming against

the lamp pole.

Where have the people gone?

There is one light on the mountain.

2

Along the sea-wall, a steady sloshing of the swell,

The waves not yet high, but even,

Coming closer and closer upon each other;

A fine fume of rain driving in from the sea,

Riddling the sand, like a wide spray of buckshot,

The wind from the sea and the wind from the mountain contending,

Flicking the foam from the whitecaps straight upward into the darkness.

A time to go home!—

And a child’s dirty shift billows upward out of an alley,

A cat runs from the wind as we do,

Between the whitening trees, up Santa Lucia,

Where the heavy door unlocks,

And our breath comes more easy,—

Then a crack of thunder, and the black rain runs over us, over

The flat-roofed houses, coming down in gusts, beating

The walls, the slatted windows, driving

The last watcher indoors, moving the cardplayers closer

To their cards, their anisette.

3

We creep to our bed, and its straw mattress.

We wait; we listen.

The storm lulls off, then redoubles,

Bending the trees half-way down to the ground,

Shaking loose the last wizened oranges in the orchard,

Flattening the limber carnations.

A spider eases himself down from a swaying light-bulb,

Running over the coverlet, down under the iron bedstead.

The bulb goes on and off, weakly.

Water roars into the cistern.

We lie closer on the gritty pillow,

Breathing heavily, hoping—

For the great last leap of the wave over the breakwater,

The flat boom on the beach of the towering sea-swell,

The sudden shudder as the jutting sea-cliff collapses,

And the hurricane drives the dead straw into the living pine-tree.

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Thoughts from the Red Mug coffee shop

As I sit here in the Red Mug Coffee shop having a latte with an extra shot I am going through jitters over what I have planned for today. I am tearing out the walls of my camper and throwing out the old rotten insulation and putting in new foam insulation so I don’t freeze to death this winter. Because the old insulation got wet due to a tree falling on the camper before I got it, there is mold inside the camper so I have been Lysoling the bare walls as I strip the old stuff out. The Lysol works by the way. Spray and wait then wipe down. Repeat till all the mold is gone. Make sure your windows are open so it can air out well.

Why have I got the jitters? I am still nervous that I can’t fix things myself. I am faced with the fact that women are not encouraged to fix things, that construction and remodeling and fixing are a man’s realm so it’s almost like we learn helplessness unless we have forward thinking fathers who teach us to fix stuff. As I said before, my dad was not forward thinking so I am virginal in this realm. If I die this winter it will be by my own ineptitude. I have sought advice over and over as to how to correctly install foam insulation and paneling and now all that remains is to actually do the thing.

In America women are told they can do anything but they are also restrained by lesser pay and opportunity as if to be reminded who is really in charge. A recent Pew Research study found that women in majority male workplaces report higher rates of gender discrimination.

This sense of “needing a man” for certain things is pervasive in a way to me that I did not realize about myself. I did not know how much I accepted or subscribed to the notions that there is “women’s work” and there is “men’s work,” and you don’t cross the lines unless you want to be perceived as unmarriageable. I grew up a Generation Xer and was taught girls should be quiet and agreeable and talk about his interests and wait to be asked to dance and wait for his phone call and basically be all about him. Thank God the world is evolving and relationships are coming to be seen as a shared responsibility with roles not so sharply defined. I can be feminine and fix things. I can be a voluptuous woman and sweat like a man.

This was a surprising thing to discover about myself, how conservative I’d held male and female roles even though I consider myself to be a progressive person. There is no black and white. Plenty of women do men’s work well. Just look at World War II.

These women are my inspiration as I begin the process of stripping the old and useless and rotten out of my camper and in the process strip the same old and useless ideas whose time has expired out of me. These points which I talked about in the previous entry are continuing to be a springboard for me to grow and expand. My camper and I are getting better together.

DIY empowered: Women, if I got this you got this!

I set myself a goal that I would improve one thing a day in my camper. I got three little things done that make a big difference. I had a broken cupboard door.

The door was lying inside the cupboard hole. I took off the old hardware attached to the door which was comprised of broken spring that used to help it snap back against the board when it shut. As it turned out I didn’t need to replace it because it shuts and stays shut just fine. Just needed a Phillips screwdriver and a couple of screws and it was a two minute job. I present to you a fixed cupboard!

Next was the ceiling vent. The screen was dirty and full of bugs. The whole screen will have to go along with the vent molding but for now I cleaned it out with the ShopVac. (I tell you what ladies, that ShopVac is the best thing I ever got. Get it for your tool arsenal. You won’t regret it).

I also bought a hose for five bucks and put it on my water pipe outside and now I have a ready and handy source of water to fill my jugs with. And wash my hair!

Bought a socket set for eight bucks and took off the remnants of an old first aid kit that had six locking screws fixing it to the wall. Excellent purchase! Now I have six locking screws I can use elsewhere if I need to!

I am learning to use tools which is funny because my dad was a mechanic so I grew up washing parts in the garage—but Dad had views about a woman’s place so he wouldn’t teach me to use the tools–just wash parts. I feel so good when I can fix something and not have to depend on anyone. I love men and I think they are amazing, but a self sufficient woman who isn’t afraid to learn is an empowering thing, particularly if one is single with no man around anywhere. I hit up my men friends and coworkers and ask them to teach me things about tools and how to best fix something and they have been so supportive of my learning and so happy to teach me.

Because one thing is for sure:

Don’t be afraid to try something new ladies. You can do it!!

The girl with the gypsy feet returns home to ghosts and whispers of a life lived

Home will not disappear in the night on you. Attend to the task at hand lest the bear eat you.—J Fitz 1990

I returned home where I had not been for twenty five years a few days ago.

It is a strange thing to come back to a place so pregnant with memories where half my life unfurled. So much is familiar yet so much has changed. Somehow in a life lived, daily happenings are forgotten except in excerpts, and long forgotten events come back when I explore a certain section of town or find a house where someone I knew or was related to used to live in and now strange people I do not know live there. There is a certain familiar strangeness, an ostracization that is inherent when I touch the familiar, but it is no longer linked to me in any way. Here I was . I left no mark. Yet I was here, and I am no more; these people live here and they did not know what lives unfolded here. Lives that are only ghosts now. I feel so left behind. Bereft. I missed so much. I lived so much. The tension is palpable. Should I have stayed and lived a quiet insular life here and lived through the changes, or did I do right to have traded the safety of home for how I lived as a creature of the world?

It’s too late now. I made my choice and I went out in the world, lived, travelled, had my children, and saw and experienced, and here I am.

I did not expect fanfare, nor many familiar faces and indeed, that’s what I got. There are a few familiar people to make the transition easier and for that I am grateful. I am grateful for them.

A friend once told me when I was homesick and had been in college away that home would not disappear in the night. He was right in a way–geographically it is still here; yet on a deeper level, it did disappear. I am not sorry to have lived past the unhappiness of much of it, but I am sorry to have lived a life and to come to it later in life with the feeling that life has slipped through my fingers as so much water because I still think I am young and that life is ahead of me.

They are knocking down my school and soon that fixture in my life will be gone as it will be gone for a lot of people who went there. I walked around and around and remembered how safe I felt there, how secure, when I did not feel safe or secure at home. I remembered the rooms of teachers who no longer work there, wonderful teachers the current students will never know; I remember rooms that no longer exist and it is familiar yet different, as if life moved on while I stood still in it not understanding when my life became the past and I look ahead now into the edge of the abyss of an uncertain future.

Home did slip away. My friend is now dead, my relatives on one side disappeared, no familiar faces in town. Only the boats remain, and a whisper of the town I once knew. Buildings are gone and replaced. My entire school life is gone with the buildings that once housed me; my elementary school is lofts now , my middle school and high school are gone and I feel as if I have been in some way erased and thus forced forward.

Change is constant and necessary. I am not a fool. Sometimes I feel so old and life so fast, speeding past me, while I struggle to catch my breath.

Constructing s life from scratch is the task at hand now. I have people to meet, a home to create, a new normal to become accustomed to.

I have a piece of brick from my high school which will not be there anymore after the summer has passed. It is a piece of me I think. A relic. My beginning. I am the product of the sum of my life up to now. The past is severed so cleanly I wonder if it is by accident or design. I haven’t got the slightest idea what I’m doing. I only have a dream I am manifesting. I hope a dream is enough.

I will color my hair and begin again.

I am glad to be home at last.

In which I ponder the lies we tell ourselves and how I am learning to speak my truth even if my voice shakes

We like lies.

We claim not to like liars but we do.

We like the people who butter us up. We like feeling validated. We fall for it and then wonder how the carpet got pulled out from under us when these types take advantage of us.

We like politicians who tell us what we want to hear. We all say we know politicians are liars. None of them keep campaign promises which are usually do gooder crap about how they’re going to feed hungry children and then don’t do it. We vote for the one with the best lines in the end. Politicians are like bad boyfriends we know are bad for us but we fall for the lines (read lies) every time.

I get tired of lies and the lying liars who tell them. They need to be called out but calling out self aggrandizing liars for what they are requires us to recognize we fell for their crap in the first place and we don’t like to admit we can be wrong. When our politics possesses us like Satan himself and we’d rather vote for the team so we can one up the “competition” or the “enemy” and “win,” rather than vote for the good of the country (that means the good of all, even the people you don’t like. This is a democratic republic after all. Other people than you live here and deserve the same rights and freedoms you enjoy). It takes recognizing some groups in our society are historically oppressed and this oppression goes on today. It means recognizing the truth of racism and misogyny and not trying to deny that real people get hurt when one group dictates for everyone else.

Lies. Liars. It is because of the liars in my own life I learned and am learning to stand up and speak up. This is what I think of the whole buzz around the possible peace deal between North and South Korea.

Big Liar

Kim Jong Un is the biggest liar of them all. He is fooling everyone. He is a dictator who kills and imprisons his own people and he has been sidelined and sanctioned for good reason. His human rights abuses are shocking. He engages in human trafficking of North Korean girls to China to make money. If they come back pregnant by Chinese men, they are forced to get an abortion. No one is free in North Korea. Those who resist, die.Human Rights Watch notes that North Korea’s human rights violations are unparalleled in the world:

They include extermination, murder, enslavement, torture, imprisonment, rape, forced abortions, and other sexual violence. North Korea operates secretive prison camps where perceived opponents of the government are sent to face torture and abuse, starvation rations, and forced labor. Fear of collective punishment is used to silence dissent. There is no independent media, functioning civil society, or religious freedom.

There have been numerous warnings by North Korean experts and those who have defected not to be taken in by Kim Jong Un’s sudden wish for peace. He recognizes that he is the linch pin of the whole peace process and his self importance pleases him for he is as narcissistic as they come. He is charming and funny and he is using it to charm the world so that he gets what he wants. He recognizes that there is a US president who not only publicly admires dictators, but who is deluding himself with daydreams of all the accolades his troubled presidency will get if this comes together. Kim Jong Un knows the President of the United States will look the other way while he kills and imprisons and takes the rights away of his own people. So he is bowing and kissing in order to win freedom for himself to rule his country without the interference (sanctions) of the world, open his markets to the world to bring money into North Korea.

South Korea’s leader is no better. He wants peace so badly so he can look good to his people that he has removed the propaganda speakers at the border so as to appease Kim Jong Un. To make it look as if North Korea is also interested in peace, North Korea has been said to appear to be doing the same on their side.

The freedom to be a murderous dictator is the price of peace between the Koreas. And we are so enamored of the lie, we are failing to ask ourselves why now? Why is Kim Jong Un so suddenly interested in peace now after blustering and threatening Japan and the US and Korea all last year?

The appeasing by Kim Jong Un is not new. He and his father before him have repeated this cycle for years. Usually it is so they can get something they want–sanctions lifted, funding, armaments, etc. Joel Wit, a North Korea expert who has been involved with negotiations with North Korea since the Clinton administrationin an interview on National Public Radio yesterday says he feels North Korea has come to the end of their nuclear weapons development program which accounts for some of the sudden change in attitude:

But I also think the North Koreans may have reached the end of their development programs for nuclear weapons and missiles and may have decided that now is the time to shift gear – gears and to improve their economy. And so that means improving the external security environment so they can build up their economy.

KELLY: Oh, that’s interesting. So you’re arguing that maybe North Korea is thinking they wouldn’t have that much to lose by freezing their nuclear program for a bit.

WIT: You know, the North Koreans think months ahead, and I think they’re very different from us. So they probably had a number of game plans in place. And, you know, this was probably part of their game plan, and they’d been thinking about it for a while now. And I’ve heard things like this in private discussions with the North Koreans but certainly not having a meeting at the level of Kim Jong Un and President Trump.

Professor Robert E Kelly, an Australian at Pusan University in South Korea takes it one step further in a recent interview:

ROBERT E. KELLY: Well… (laughs) It’s probably in the middle…I don’t actually think that the ‘maximum pressure campaign’ really resulted in this opening. I think this is because the North Koreans now feel that they have nuclear deterrence with the United States, which is to say, they can strike the United States with a nuclear weapon. That means America cannot attack North Korea, because they might nuke us in return. And therefore, that gives North Korea room to negotiate.

I think that’s what this sort of ‘spring of summitry’ is, because the North Koreans aren’t just meeting with Americans, but with the South Koreans; with the Chinese; probably the Japanese and the Russians. They met the IOC (International Olympic Committee). And what they’re doing, basically, to my mind, is shopping around their program. So I don’t think that they are coming to the table to capitulate, as the President has intimated.

I think they are coming, basically, looking for a deal. And if we don’t give them something, if we don’t get some kind of deal out of them, they will just go back to the defensive crouch they have been in for years.

PT Barnum says a sucker is born every minute. We need to watch that we aren’t the suckers in a grand charade. Kim Jong Un plays chess. Our president does not. He shakes hands with dictators, praises dictators and legitimizes them instead of asking himself in the face if the horrific things Kim Jong Un does to his own people why no American president has ever visited with a leader of North Korea. Kim Jong Un lies about his human rights abuses daily, presents a face to the world that is a lie and lies to his own people with impunity and forces them to lie so they don’t die. He knows how to flatter and smile and joke.

Which one is wise? I will leave that to you to answer.

If something looks too good to be true, it probably is. Kim Jong Un is lovebombing is for a reason. Just like a narcissist does. We should be asking ourselves why.

If the leaders of the world have no conscience, it is up to us, the people of the world, to stand up for the oppressed and brutalized people of North Korea. Unification of the Koreas will not change life for them. In the end we will be selling our soul to appease a monster who has no intention of handing over any power and democratizing North Korea.

Feeling a little verklempt

I just got done doing my taxes and after feeling as if I have been pulled through a knothole backwards (I owe) now I turn to my writing to see what I can make of it.

I am undecided as to what kind of a writer I want to be. Short story writer? Poet? Essay/social commentary? My social commentary essays get the most reads on here, and while that would seem to be a possible indicator that I’m good at social commentary, I am not certain that is who I really am. One can do social commentary through story writing too, after all.

Figuring out who I am as a writer fits in with this transition period I am undergoing anyway as I try to find my niche in life. Going home is definitely one niche.

  • Home ✔️
  • Type of writer ??
  • Who do I belong with (TBD–this is falling into place)

I don’t know if any of you have got it all together. I don’t know that anybody does. Perhaps we all do the best we can daily. I hope I do my best. I make time for me now regularly to exercise or read or write or sometimes to sit in nature doing nothing at all. We need to do nothing at all daily for a little while because this world is way too busy and jumpy and anxious.

Anyway. I do a little of everything to see what I am. I am narrowing it down now, definitively.

Reimagining my life

At the bottom of her heart, however, she was waiting for something to happen. Like shipwrecked sailors, she turned despairing eyes upon the solitude of her life, seeking afar off some white sail in the mists of the horizon. She did not know what this chance would be, what wind would bring it her, towards what shore it would drive her, if it would be a shallop or a three-decker, laden with anguish or full of bliss to the portholes. But each morning, as she awoke, she hoped it would come that day; she listened to every sound, sprang up with a start, wondered that it did not come; then at sunset, always more saddened, she longed for the morrow.

Gustave Flaubert, Madame Bovary

  • I will go back home to my lake.
  • I will not dwell on the failures of the past.
  • I forgive all those who hurt me and I pray I am forgiven by those I hurt.
  • I will earn an apartment. With wood floors and a lake view and bookshelves built into the walls. A nice old house.
  • I will play classical music in the evenings and have a nice wine rack with a good selection of wines.
  • I will hang art I love
  • I will have oriental rugs for the floors.
  • I will not allow the failed loves of the past to dictate failure in love in the future. I will love another and be loved truly by someone before I die.
  • I will have a good job and earn plenty of money.
  • I will collect used books for my used bookstore that I will have lakeside.
  • I will keep running and walking and do it beside the lake daily and live in hope, not despair or disappointment.

Love does not conquer all

This has been a season of all too brief hellos and all too soon goodbyes of friends who were friends for years and years. One I was reunited with. The reuniting was wonderful and a love long dormant in Me was expressed but to the tune of the wrong place and still the wrong time.

I was not the choice. As painful as that is sometimes you just have to accept it and move on. While the reason was all too clear in my situation, sometimes goodbyes are based on situations that are inexplicable and you don’t ever get to know why.

The door, after a goodbye or many opens. Sometimes we trap ourselves in situations because we feel it’s what we deserve and most of the time this choice is unconscious based on what has happened to us in life and what kind of protections we have developed. Even when we don’t need them anymore those same protection mechanisms can become a prison keeping us from growth and new experiences.

For me the goodbye was hard and unwanted but necessary so I didn’t live a lie and also to remain honest, even to a person who didn’t know I was around, who I personally can’t stand but who still as a person deserved my honesty. I was angry at the injustice of things and how the time is never right and I took my anger and frustration out on the one I said goodbye to a little bit. I am not proud of this and I tried to make amends but I leave with silence for an answer and a bittersweet taste in my mouth. Maybe one day in time, we can come around again in the right time and the right place, with understanding and love.

I am weary of goodbye. I am sad and drained and aged. I am now leaving my whole past behind while returning to the place my past occurred. The place has changed, as have the people who populated it…some have moved away, some have died and most have simply grown older. Enough has changed I think that restoration and a new life may take root and I can make my home my own and lay down deep roots, forge new friendships and find a love of my own unfettered by emotional baggage and closed doors and dead ends. Love does not conquer all: it often means, if we are honest, if we are true, that if we really love somebody we have to honor their choices enough to walk away and allow them the freedom to live their choices while sacrificing our own desires. I really loved him in the right way and when I am sad, as I am now, I am comforted by knowing I’ve grown enough to learn that letting go is an act of faith in doors that will open, other opportunities that will come, new people, new possibilities and new growth opportunities.

So I sit in the coffee shop and think of the movie Begin Again:

Future

A single candle flickers as I walk the path wending round bends in the dark while hidden figures block entrances

of places I am not meant to explore

The wind shifts suddenly and I find myself on the shore of an endless sea, waves agitating upon the sands shifting and I struggle feet sinking so I stop

and build sand castles

Birds wheel overhead.

A song drifts upon the night on the shore and returns me back to childhood when I felt safe and warm

I pause momentarily sand castle forgotten while a hawk peers at me knowingly from a log of dry driftwood

You are not the master of your destiny it says and flaps its wings as it waits as I wait I am carried forward to the same place returned by sand and sea and tide to the past-present

I look out over horizons as I shift flying over beginnings and endings and see a great hand writing something I cannot read

Perhaps that was the answer and I crane my head desperate to read and understand but I am carried by crosswinds back to the log, the sand castle and the sea no more a bird than a fish

A boat comes for me

I rise to meet it walking on still water.

Wisconsin Point, Superior, Wisconsin

Photo Credit Philip Schwarz Photography

There it is. The turn off Highway 53. The long winding narrow road through the trees that seems to go on and on without a hint that a beach and the wide expanse of the lake lay just beyond. There is a Native burial ground almost at the break in the trees to the right where people have left mementoes.

From CatholicDos.org:

“Wisconsin Point (three miles in length) and Minnesota Point (seven miles) located in Superior, Wisconsin make up the largest freshwater sandbar in the world. They were formed by two rivers. The French traders who approached the west end of Lake Superior would eventually start calling the larger river on the right the St. Louis River (after the King of France) although the Ojibwe’s name for it was “Gichigami-ziibi” meaning “Great Lake River.” The stream on the left was called the Nemadji River (after the Ojibwe word “ne-madji-tic-guay-och” for “Left Hand River”). The Nemadji River marks the boundary between the parishes of St. Francis Xavier and St. Anthony.

Fr. Claude Jean Allouez, S.J. (1622-1689) camped on the shore of Wisconsin Point in 1666 while ministering to the Ojibwe. The following year, he would establish a mission along Bluff Creek near the shore of the bay. Frustrated though with few Ojibwe willing to join the Catholic faith, he abandoned his evangelization efforts in about 1669.

Today, near the Superior entry lighthouse at Wisconsin Point, a stone marker states:

Here was the burial ground of the Fond du Lac Band of Chippewa people dating from the 17th century. It was removed in 1919 to St. Francis cemetery, Superior.”

Actually, only about 180 remains from the most identifiable graves were moved (including at least one chief– Chief Joseph Osaugie (1802-1876). Sadly though, once placed in a mass grave at St. Francis Xavier cemetery, they were improperly cared for over the years. For example, when the slope of land on which they were reburied had been undercut by construction of a road, bones and decayed clothing could be seen spilling toward the river. As far as what happened to the 100 unidentified graves that were left on Wisconsin point? Some say Chief Osaugie’s descendants know their location, but they are not about to give up their dead.”

I spent many a somber moment pausing there, listening to the whispers of the trees and the quiet breeze until I could almost see the days when no white person had set foot on that land. From here you can smell the water. A quick walk up brings you to the golden beach which stretches for a fair ways until it curves round out of sight.

I lay here nights on the soft sand watching the aurora borealis while the waves washed up on the sand. I walked barefoot in the wash, my footsteps disappearing in the waves as if I had never trod there. I loved the feeling of the cold water on my feet and I would gaze over the water to the blue line on the horizon wondering what lay on the other side of the blue line. Now I am on the other side of the blue line looking homewards, missing the sight of great red ore oats with their distinctive long shape and white trim cruising out to the wide lake beyond.

The lighthouse lies on the end of s great long break wall that is really a long pile of rocks; precarious to walk on when the weather is wet and with a little effort it is well worth it to achieve the lighthouse at last on its concrete block. My soul wanders when I lean up against the short wall on the other side of the lighthouse; across that endless expanse of blue something in me rears up, this sense of wandering and possibility, wildness and passion. I love this great inland sea that is beautiful in its calm and unpredictability; where I went agate hunting on its beach as a young woman and sat on the great driftwood logs with a little fire going at night listening to the fire pop and hiss, smoke floating upwards, while the water and the waves sliding forever in and out spoke to me in their languages speaking of time and eternity and ages long past when no human being was there, and when the first humans to live there fished and lived and loved.

I stand on Erie’s shore sometimes, in Hamburg, New York. I fulfilled the wanderlust of my younger years; I know what is on the other side of that far blue horizon line and 30 years on the other side I hear the great water that lives further northwest calling to me. It is the song of home.