Lake Michigan's dangerous beauty

"Heavy winds speeding down Lake Michigan from the north and northwest will bring high waves and make swimming dangerous on Chicago-area beaches today." (Chicago Tribune)


Chicago sits on the shores of Lake Michigan. Lake Michigan is temperamental. It has similar traits of the Atlantic Ocean. Because of those traits and its location, the United States Navy used Lake Michigan to train pilots in aircraft carrier landings and take offs.

Lake Michigan can be flat and placid one moment and in the blink of an eye can turn roiling and dangerous. Knowledgeable boaters know this. Swimmers and people walking along the shore or on the breakwaters can be put in harms way.

There is a beauty in the lakes violence. A beauty resembling paintings by the masters. The beauty is not just visual. The sound of massive waves striking the shore or breakwaters is something to behold. Then there is touch. The cold mist and stinging sand striking your skin.


1:00 P.M. today. (Peter V. Bella)

Lake Michigan, for all its beauty, can be a tempting life taking beautiful danger. All natural beauty is not colorful and placid. All violence is not ugly The raw violence of nature is beautiful. The dull gray skies, the brown and gray water crashing, the wind blowing so hard birds stall in midair or are pushed backwards. Whirling sand skittering over the ground. Plants bending to the will of nature.

Due to the heavy wind conditions, people are advised to stay out of the lake and away from the shore today. The same was true in October, when the lake came alive with violence as a consequence of the Hurricane Sandy weather pattern. But, Lake Michigan is a temptress to those who appreciate the beauty of raw natural violence.

The siren call of Chicago's crown jewel is hard to resist. Some have to experience the power of nature in all its glory.


October 30, 2012 (Peter V. Bella)


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