Our theme for the month of February is “color.”
Scenes of my favorite color: Lake Michigan Blue
The waves and the sand beat the rocks, back and forth, back and forth, refining them until they are weathered, smooth. I pick one up and hold it in my hands, marveling at how it has lost its jagged edges. The Lake has this effect on me too.
“This can’t be a lake. There’s no way, it’s too big.”
The Lake was calm this morning, almost completely still. The tiniest waves lapped at my feet as I stood at the edge, burying my toes in the sand. The water was an impossibly clear cerulean, thousands of water particles sparkling in the first light of a new day.
I’ve never seen the waves as wild as this August sunset, roaring high over the Holland pier. There are swimmers out in the water; did they see the red flag? I can’t hear my friends over the crashing, so we don’t talk, the water up to our knees. We watch the sun fall into the Lake, the sky becoming increasingly beautiful with each passing moment. It is golden hour.
Usually the waves slam into the boulders in Petoskey. I’ve been here before—the first time I jumped off the pier, feeling the exhilaration and freedom I’ve only ever felt during a Michigan summer. In the winter you can’t walk out on the pier, can’t hear the cadence of the waves. But you know the Lake lies beneath, waiting, anticipating. Soon it will be all movement and give and take, but for winter all is still, silent.
A piece of driftwood lies in the sand, waterlogged enough to squish and bubble when I step on it. I stand on top and the waves surround the log. I feel tall—like I’m rising above the water.
Sand dunes tower over the ombre blue abyss, sloping into the Lake and diving deep. I run down the dune to be closer to the water and it feels like I’m flying. I don’t think about climbing back up.
Fourth of July fireworks reflect in the glassy Lake surface creating a warped secondary display. A dad sitting nearby patiently explains to his kids how light travels faster than sound. We laugh and think of our own dads.
As we walked out to the Frankfort lighthouse, the waves came up to meet us. The water was deep blue and angry, cresting over the pier at chaotic intervals. When we reached the lighthouse, we were soaking wet, laughing so hard we couldn’t breathe.
It’s pitch black but we can hear the water as we stare up at the stars, our backs nestled in the sand. “Can you believe the God who created all of this cares about us?” I trace familiar constellations, hear the recurring roll of the waves, feel the warmth of good company and miraculously, I can.
Olivia graduated from Calvin in May 2018 with a double major in business and writing. She now works as an editor in Nashville, Tennessee and is eating her way through the restaurants of her new town. She enjoys weekend trips with friends, petting other people’s dogs, and drinking coffee like a Gilmore Girl.