A Love Song for Lake Michigan

My first love was the ocean.
She wrapped me in her vastness
And rocked me with her slow, eternal movement
Like an ancient mother, like a goddess
She buoyed up the part of me
That is a part of all things
And drew me to her
Like my heart was a ship
With its anchor lost in her depths.

I have never lived farther from the ocean
Or closer to the shore.

I have wondered since I got here
If I would love her the same
This Midwest Lady, this great lake.
But the truth is
I don’t.
Not the same.
Not that deep and unchanging tidal longing.

She is different, see.
She’s lighter in her dance
And more transparent
The light shines through her
Like she’s made of eyes wide open
She’s lively and refreshing
With an independent spirit.

And love her I do
In all her thousand hues
Cerulean and aquamarine
And stormy shadow gray.

But I do not love her constantly and samely
For she is always new
And so I love her newly, over and over and over.

When she greets me in the morning of each day
I fall again into her changing beauty
And remember all over
What it is to be captivated
And to love at first sight.

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