By: Joshua Anderson There is nothing like the peace and anticipation of a calm and sunny morning on the shores of Lake Michigan. After two days of rainy windy weather, a sunny morning brightened my spirit. An early morning walk revealed a quiet flurry to fill the senses. With the sun just above the horizon, my face could already feel it’s comforting warmth. In contrast, a harsh scraping sound echoes across Pere Marquette Lake. A glimpse to the opposite shore reveals that some are already hard at work. Crew from a barge unload its cargo, one big boulder at a time.
Walking across the lawn to access the public walk to the shoreline, I catch glimmers of dew reflecting the sun’s brilliant rays. Although the smell of freshly cut grass has waned from yesterday’s first cut of the season, it remains a harbinger of barefoot days to come. As I start down the walk, I see our state bird, the Robin, searching for breakfast. It pauses to sing a good morning song. Or maybe it is telling me to keep my distance. A near by pine is refuge for a Baltimore Oriole. Three deer keep an eye on me as they continue to graze and move towards their daytime hiding place. They themselves may have come up from the lake after a needed drink of water. With my back now to the sun, my face feels just a hint of cool spring air coming off the big lake. Not windy, just a trivial breeze. It carries the freshness of a spring morning, along with the hint of a big lake beach. The seed heads on the stalks of dune grass surrounding me testify to the delicacy of the breeze.
Reaching the shore is calming yet stimulating. Many things vie for my attention, but the sun striking the bright white Ludington North Breakwater Light was too vivid to ignore. It stands strong against the blue sky and darker blue-green water. Although not the original location for the Ludington Light, it has safely guided countless vessels through inclement conditions. This morning’s conditions were certainly not inclement. Clear skies with just a slight ripple on the water, summoning about a dozen boats to try their luck at catching some Lake Michigan game fish. Also, not far offshore is a tug, with barge in tow. While wondering what its cargo might be, the shrill of a killdeer? (I admit I don’t know my bird sounds too well) beckons my attention. A few small birds glide effortlessly over the water. I’m curious to know if they feel free as they glide along, or does it feel like tireless work? Perhaps a windy day feels more like work.
Past the birds, on the horizon, I spot a mighty freighter making its way north. Yet another not far behind. After further observation, the second freighter must be headed south. No doubt each are loaded with freight that will somehow make our lives more convenient. I pause to take it all in.
Breathing deeply and slowly, I can feel the warmth of the sun on my pants, and hear the gentle lap of water on the sandy shore. A soft sound that could lull you to sleep. I bend down to scoop a handful of cool sand and let it trickle through my fingers. Somehow a soothing sensation. The sights and sounds invite me to explore the shore to see what other treasures this morning might yield. Although some of this ‘quiet flurry’ is man-made, and some God-made, the morning certainly displays his creative beauty.