In a week where I’m reminded of the things that are no longer part of my everyday existence, I’m finding that some surprising feelings are bubbling up.
Here in Michigan, today was the first day of school for most public school kids and maybe even some private school kids. My kids are in college, and while I’m as aware as I can be about what they’re up to, they are on their own and have been for a while now. In their own spheres, their own apartments, making their own choices every single day. We orbit in our own spaces, only occasionally colliding. It was hard at first.
You don’t think about those things when you’re raising children, and suddenly they are adults and you’re confronted with it. You figure it out, of course, and it’s easier as the years go by. You move on, they need you less and less, you learn how to parent them in a totally different way.
And then you see pictures of your friend’s younger kids on their first day of school, and the memories flood back. The first day of kindergarten, the school uniforms, the front porch of the house that no longer stands. It’s all there threatening to erupt.
Like me, Lake Michigan was moody tonight as a storm rolled in from the north and lit up the sky as it steamrolled over the shoreline. Thunderous cracks and rolling bellows that shook the house and my eardrums, electrified fingers reaching out of the clouds and touching the earth, the lake, too close for comfort. But it was comforting, in a strange way. It’s been dry–we needed the rain. And the noise, the lightning; both cathartic.
Storms, like feelings, roil up, tap you (hard) on the shoulder, and then leave you be.
3 thoughts on “That lake, she’s moody”
Speaking of memories (though recent ones), in June I spent 5 days at the Illinois Beach Resort on the other side of Lake Michigan from you, and then a day at the Indiana Dunes National Lakeshore. One of the things I saw in Illinois was ample amounts of Asclepias syriaca, the common milkweed of the Northeast. In Austin we have prairie flameleaf sumac, which is the most reliable source of fall foliage in this hot climate that doesn’t have large swaths of autumn color.
Steve, thanks for reading and commenting! I hope you enjoyed your time on Lake Michigan in June–it really is a beautiful lake from whatever shoreline you happen to be standing on. I think the sumac we have here is called staghorn sumac and it turns a gorgeous, deep red.
I must have seen staghorn sumac turning red when I grew up in New York, but I didn’t pay attention to species back then.
Yes, I was happy to experience Lake Michigan from several places. I featured some of them in my blog:
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