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Before The Ice

The waves broke and spread their waters swiftly over the shore. One after another they massed themselves and fell; the spray tossed itself back with the energy of their fall. The waves were steeped deep-blue save for a pattern of diamond-pointed light on their backs which rippled as the backs of great horses ripple with muscles as they move. The waves fell; withdrew and fell again, like the thud of a great beast stamping.

Virginia Woolf, The Waves

I took this collection of photos on November 24 when the lake was restless— heaving itself on shore and instantly morphing into ice. The deafening roar of wind and water was breathtaking (literally, it was so windy I couldn't hear Will) and awe-inspiring. Most days, the lake is placid and its strength is cloaked under a liquid blue blanket and while I know there's ferocity lurking under that cloak of civility, it's easy to forget the Lake is an elemental force to be reckoned with. Humility of spirit and communion with nature— two lessons learned on a blustery day in November.

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The gulls were hovering overhead, diving and floating in the wind currents. Those white boxes were full of their version of an all you can eat buffet— bits and parts of freshly caught fish. 

We stayed out there, soaking wet and lightly frosted with ice, until streaks of yellow, orange and pink lit up the sky. It was tough to leave— the light was extraordinary, the air was electrified and the waves were relentless but numb fingers won out and we hopped back in the car. The Lake, in all its untamed power,  is truly an inland sea. As I stood on the shore before we drove away, I understood my place in the 'family of things' (as Mary Oliver would say), small but not insignificant. Each and every piece of the weave has its place and mine is on the shores of Lake Superior.