Monday, June 29, 2009

The water in my blood

On my way home from Michigan, I usually cross the Upper Peninsula on US Highway 2. The highway runs along the north shore of Lake Michigan, between sand dunes and through forests. The Lake was stunning yesterday in the cool sunshine and I was amazed at her colors, from deepest blue to crisp aquas to greens so transparent that I could see the sand beneath it. I stopped twice to take pictures and wondered at the sense of urgency I had to capture all the colors in my camera.

I love Lake Superior, and Lake Michigan, too. I grew up vacationing in the U.P., swimming in Lake Michigan and picking rocks along Superior's shore. I think I take pictures because I want to hang on to both lakes and all the memories I have of being there with my parents, sister and brother. My father died seven years ago this week. My sister lives in Alaska, my brother is ailing and my Mom is growing older. Maybe if I can hang on to the lakes and the dunes and rocks and white pines, I can hang on to the family I grew up with, too.

Karl Stern in Eddie's Wake felt the same way, I think, when he discovered that he and his family would be leaving the Lake where his father lived and fished and died. He was positive that everyone would forget all about his father if they moved away; he was truly afraid that he would forget, too. I wish I could tell him that moving away wouldn't make him forget... he'd just never be able to visit the big Lake without the feeling presence of his father. And that he'd probably take a lot of pictures trying to take the Lake home with him.

The image above is the "Mighty Mac" -- The Mackinac Bridge. It was completed fifty years ago this year and is a marvel to behold.


Angel said...

"Take the lake home with him"
This is the essence of photography: to capture something our soul wants never to forget. Photography captures what IS there. Our soul remembers what's IN "there".
Thanks, Carol.
Am anxious for Eddie's Wake to be out with covers on!

C. A. Peterson said...

Me, too, Angel! Thanks for reading.

Anonymous said...

There is something magical/mystical about water... it just has a way of drawing you in, calming you down.

We visited some friends in Ontario a few years ago and they took us to a beach on Lake Huron. I couldn't get over it. I thought I was looking at ocean, it was so massive.

We're fortunate to be just an hour from the ocean here in R.I. Deb and I love walking the beach off-season, when the crowds have gone. Tomorrow we're heading down to take in some sea breezes and some good sea food.

C. A. Peterson said...

I could use a whole ocean today! Thanks for reading, Dave.