This submission comes to us from Val, who lives in Camano Island, WA. She writes, “this is my tribute to Lake Superior, where my heart calls home and I sense life’s possibilities and my freedom to strive for them.”
Here is her story:
“Stop! Right Now! You CAN’T take the express route!” I scream in agony as the car misses the turn for the scenic route along the north shore of Lake Superior. Barely able to hold myself from a tantrum, my eyes mist. “We have to take the scenic route. It’s my last touch with the lake.”
I don’t know why, perhaps my friends thought I was cracking up, but with a quick left turn, we connected with the scenic route. For the next 20 miles in the dark, I had my last connection with my lake while cruising to Duluth before heading back to Seattle, not knowing when I’d return.
Did I see the lake? Not really, but I knew it was there, and just that feeling satisfied my soul. Despite never having lived along Lake Superior, the lake is home to me. I’ve been taking trips up the north shore of Lake Superior as often as I can — ever since I circumnavigated it during a family trip in first grade. Whenever I think about my favorite place in the world, it’s Lake Superior. That’s where my heart thrives, and when I’m there I’m content and satisfied.
I nearly lived in Duluth, but as an independent woman of the world, I lost that chance, discovered the ocean, and left the lake behind. But I always think about ending up at my lake, and I wonder… How will I get around? Will I be able to manipulate the icy roads? Will I fit in after moving away from Minnesota? And the most frightening question — is the lake big enough for me, now that I discovered the ocean? Will I still be able to look out at it and have it offer me freedom and possibilities, or will I feel confined? But then as I reflect, that’s always the balance of a relationship, freedom to be who we are and the security of being in the right spot.
I guess the only answer is to get back to My Lake, take in her mighty moods of crashing waves, still waters, sparkling seas, foggy shores, dancing moonlight, and wailing loons. I think it will satisfy my heart just fine. The lake’s never let me down yet, and I always feel its presence whether it’s cruising down the scenic drive on a dark winter’s night or sitting on the shores of Puget Sound feeling where my heart is — at the water’s edge on the north shore of Lake Superior.
Thank you, Val, for sharing your story with us.