A Soft Twenty

Tall trees block the view of the towering sand dunes. The dunes block the view of Lake Michigan. It’s difficult to gauge your proximity to the water. You can’t smell the salt like an ocean, but you can sense it. Trees sing, birds soar. It’s dark at night. There are plenty of signs that the Lake is only a block or two away. Especially now. Winter.

It snows and snows, never melts, and new powder tops old. I’d almost prefer if it stays all season. Slush is gross and gets on my nerves. I often think of Abe Simpson yelling at that cloud. I feel old Abe. I’ve yelled at clouds, mainly for photography reasons, but nonetheless, I’ve yelled.

Two days ago the storm was wicked. Windy, cold, and relentless. Not tonight. Tonight brought a soft, slow snow. Gentle and forgiving. And it was quiet outside. Even when the occasional car drove down the road, it was almost silent. Not too cold either. An unbuttoned jacket and the gloves were left in the closet. I would estimate 20 inches on the untouched yard, and it’s a soft 20. I should have stayed out longer, but I lost my train of thought when started to shovel the driveway. I came in to sit down at the computer. I now see that was a bad move.

I’ve lived very close to two of the Greatest Lakes. Erie, and now Michigan. Both bring the snow and it’s fury, or it’s glory. It’s either calm or insane, and that goes for both summer and winter. A bluebird sky on a frozen winter day is spectacular, especially on shore. There is no sound. Silent. You could stand there for hours doing nothing. The next day could bring the apocalypse. Same in the summer. Terrible rain and wind storms. Sand in your eyes and no chance of going in for a swim. It’ll take you under. Each day is different.

Tonight I sat in the road. I sat in the yard. I enjoyed the peace and quiet. Even the street was soft.

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