Thursday, September 2, 2010


When I started this blog, I promised to tell all about what it's like to live ten measly yards from a force of Nature.  The little excerpt from my novel in the header says it like it is for me.

Holy awe, I'd call it.  Occasionally I'd call it "Holy crap!"

But that's only a fragment of the story.

If you live in a city, a suburb, or a small town anywhere USA, you're swimming in Nature.  For sure. She's in our face -- and up our nose -- everywhere we go, one way or another.

But having lived in all three, I'd report that it's different out here.

Not in any way to discount or disrespect your passion for your own changing sky and your own changing seasons, it just that it feels like there's a lot more of Everything Nature in our world here than we had in the world we left behind.  Erie is big.  Big magnificent.  Big gorgeous.  Big scary.  Just plain big.  It doesn't quit.  It goes as far as the eye can see and doesn't stop there. If you live somewhere where the horizon stretches out around you, you know exactly what I mean.  

Out here it's ALL big. Big water, big sky, big weather, big planet, big old cotton pickin' universe.  And because there's nothing much except water between here and Canada, there's this giant screen on which we watch it all do its extremely large thing.  Really.  From our back deck you can catch a glimpse of the girders that hold the stars aloft and the love that makes the world go round.  Big.  Oh so.

Corollary to the Law of Large:  This Category 5 Bigness, makes the significance of the viewer something akin to that of a fruit fly who was scraped off the bottom of a muddy shoe in 1716.  It's a steamroller for you, baby.  You have to scramble all your jets to feel like anything at all.  

In the post about my ongoing dysfunctional relationship with The Weather Channel, I touched on how our attempt to reduce the weather to something one could actually predict lulls us into the idea that we know something about what's going to happen next.  Or about anything at all.

Lake E will dispense with this fallacy for you if you let it.  But it will do something else for you as well.

When I get all preoccupied with myself, Lake Erie will unpreoccupy me.  It will shuck me right out of my fruit fly scenarios.  It will explain to me, kindly or loudly, that the world doesn't revolve around the cosmic question, "Where did I put my silly car keys?"  Oh, wait.  I think the cosmic question is "What am I doing here?"  But the keys tend to block that out when they're missing and I need to go somewhere.  Life is so distracting sometimes.... 

All I have to do is glance out the window and the Truth is there.  It puts me in my place.  Lucky me.  The world is big and beautiful, mighty and terrible.  And I get to see it.

By virtue of better fortune than anyone deserves, I get to see a big lot of it.

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