Joy and sorrow are this ocean
And in their every ebb and flow
Now the Lord a door has opened
That all Hell could never close
Here I’m tested and made worthy
Tossed about but lifted up
In the reckless raging fury
That they call the love of God
What is with the weather today?! Wow. There is nothing I love more than Lake Superior in a storm. She is mesmerizing. The waves were huge–20 feet in some places. It was impossible to get very close to any of it, though. I pulled over and walked out onto the beach and quickly realized how unsafe it was. I was thirty feet from the shore, and still she chased me back to the truck. I am not too proud to admit it scared me to feel the pull of the waves on my feet. It wasn’t until I got back into the truck that I realized I was soaked through in front. My back was completely dry! So I drove farther down the beach, where the waves were simply rolling over the retaining rocks. Several cars had parked by the orange ‘road closed’ barrier, and one fellow had left his car and walked beyond the barrier to try and get photos. I watched from my truck, and determined not to leave until he was safely back in his own vehicle. But he didn’t stay out long. He was caught and knocked almost off his feet by one wave, and his common sense returned him to his car quickly.
I drove up to the island and struggled to find a parking spot. That’s the brilliant thing about this area–everyone comes out to see the Lake during a storm. I was going to walk down the hill and approach the breakwall from the side, because I’ve not done that before. But the small, rocky shore was flooded, and I was already drenched from having been on the beach earlier. So I walked over to the fence above the breakwall and just watched.
And as I always am when a storm tosses Lake Superior, I was stunned by the beauty and the fierce passion of her throws. All I could think was, “the reckless, raging fury that they call the love of God.” And as I stood there watching and listening, I heard something I have never heard in my entire life. I heard–not the crash–but some deeper, richer, more terrifying sound. I don’t know how to explain it in a way that a stranger might comprehend.
On Independence Day, they shoot fireworks over the Lower Harbor by the old Ore Dock that is out of use. And as you sit on the grass of the park and watch the explosions in the sky of blue and yellow and green, there’s this deep, rumbling that you want to hide from. It’s the sound of the explosion echoing off of the Dock. It’s heavy, and loud, and fills you with this sense of dread. And worse than the sound of it filling your ears is the tremor that penetrates your body, your heart. It’s beautiful. If I had ever experienced such a sound or feeling in any other circumstance, I would flee for my life.
That is the only thing I can liken this to. It was a loud, deep drum sound every time the waves crashed just the right way on the breakwall. But the way of crashing that would cause such an enormous sound–I couldn’t tell you. I watched and listened for quite some time, trying to make sense of it, but it was to no avail. I can only tell you that I have never heard this sound before, and that it was deep, loud, and frightening. If you want to know the truth of it, it sounded as if there was a hole somewhere, and water were sucked down into it very quickly; and then the hole was closed. I’m not sure if that makes sense.
At any rate, the only other words of wisdom I can offer are this: when the wind is gusting across the Lake, and you are going to venture out onto the breakwall beyond the red sign that says “woah! Go back now!”, you may want to leave the umbrella in the car.