Tuesday, February 09, 2010

Lake Effect

A few years ago I was in this show with an actor who'd moved here from out of town. She'd been here for a couple of summers and had never been to the lake. And it's not like she lived in Bartlett -- she was in Roscoe Village.

I don't get it. I find the lake endlessly fascinating, in all its seasons and moods -- angry, brown and wind-tossed or dead still in the summer. I don't think I'd live here if there was no lake.

When I worked at the agency and things would get a little tense or depressing, I'd head over to Oak Street Beach, even in the dead of winter, and it would always make me feel better. How can it not?

I'm not sure what it is. Maybe its utter indifference to our problems? Or maybe because it's just really big and beautiful and cool.

I was there this weekend because I'd seen from the bus that the pack ice was all blown up toward the shore. When I went over I found that there must have been some really hellacious waves sometime in the past few days. The water had gone not only over the wall, but all the way up the breakwall -- probably 15-20 vertical feet and another 50-60 inland -- and onto the grass, spraying the trees. Then it all iced over, turning that sort-of meadow south of Belmont Harbor into an ice rink.

Absolutely magical.

The day I move more than a half-mile from the lake is the day I leave Chicago.

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