The part of our community where beauty (the state park) meets the beast (industry). That big fluffy smoke has reared its head here through all four seasons since I was a child and probably many years prior to that. It makes for some interesting texture in a photo, especially on a very brisk winter’s day–but it is the uglier side of the city, visible from the north pier off the bay of Lake Erie. One doesn’t stand on the pier for too long in the winter, unless one is a glutton for frostbite. A few quick photos, and its back to the vehicle. In summer, this pier is filled with fishermen and fisherwomen, and this part of the bay has quite a bit of boat traffic. It is one of my favorite areas to run in the other three seasons, ending with a neat little lighthouse at the end.
I got off my lazy behind tonight, heading out with the warmth of the summer’s evening and my Canon. Plenty of companionship for me. The evening was warm, but the breeze’s touch was soft and comforting. This was the air of many a childhood night spent playing on the front lawn until darkness (and our mothers) beckoned us to our bedtimes.
I have to travel just a few miles to reach the lake’s shores. I was anxious to take some photos. The sun was just beginning its final decline, like the fiery ball on a New Year’s Eve with Dick Clark. I had a little bit of time. I love a good countdown. I prepared to shoot, quickly taking the first shot to meter for just the right light. A family splashed in the waters beyond me, dancing in and out of the sun’s reflection against the great lake. I sauntered my way along the shore, snapping at will. Enjoying the comfort a peaceful summer’s night brings.
As light turned to dusk, I returned to my car, heading home with my night’s treasures. Time to develop the photos. Time to see if justice was served in at least one or two of my captures. And yes, there were a few photos I really liked. But this one–the one I’ve posted–this was my metering shot. The quick one I took to adjust my settings. I wasn’t paying attention to who was watching me back. A slight crop reveals that I wasn’t the only one out on a watch tonight.
But I was the only one with the camera. Lucky me. 🙂
I’ve posted a few photos taken on the Lake Erie shores over the past week. This is yet another. I was standing out in the middle of the lake, directly off shore. Gulls were flying about, nary another soul around. Peace and solitude. A different perspective from the everyday world of life.
As I stood, soaking in the sense of peace bestowed upon me in this moment, I had no idea how important it would be in the upcoming week, this injection of peace. My weeks are generally fraught with people who are angry about one thing or another, be they families we serve or our employees. Its absolutely impossible to work in this type of environment without its taking a toll on your emotions. This particularly stressful week was fraught with labor-management issues. Issues I did not initiate but, because of a string of events, landed in my lap to deal with. Tensions are high and palpable.
Worst of all was the call I received from the courthouse early Wednesday morning. A good friend and colleague, only 61 years old, had died of lung cancer. Diagnosed in early June, taken in early August. His last email to me was during a chemo session. He was going to call me as soon as he was feeling better. But he will not be calling me. Chemotherapy was not able to be given consistently due to a persistent lung infection. And then he was gone. Just like that.
Part of me feels irrationally guilty. At a benefit dinner we attended together, he’d told me he’d been experiencing pain and thought it was a pulled muscle. I started telling him my sister-in-law’s story. Persistent back pain she thought was a pulled muscle. Several MRIs and scans later, it was finally identified as tumors all over her body. I stopped mid-story. I didn’t want to scare him. But he insisted I finish telling him. I reassured him it was probably nothing like that and, at the same time, encouraged him to get it checked out.
And it was cancer. And he’s gone. Just like that.
Where did you go? I didn’t even get a chance to say goodbye.
I’m going to miss you, my friend.
In memory of my friend, who loved these very waters and beaches. It won’t be the same around here without you.
I spent early Saturday morning at the beach. This time of year, it is typically very crowded, unless you have the gumption to get up every early. Which I did. This is the best of the summer on the Lake Erie beach, when the water is like glass and the majority of your company is the animals who inhabit it. This is a flock of seagulls roosting on a sandy point that jettisons out to the stone. There were two fisherman to the far right, drifting and casting in the their small boat, which eventually made the flock fly…but at this moment, they seem to be having their own morning coffee clutch.
Have a good one.
Spring time. Late spring. Mother and child? Grandma, granddaughter? I wasn’t sure. I was spying. Observing. Here’s what was clear: they had one another all to each other. As well as the beach, for that matter.
I do not have the opportunity to see this very often. My job can lend itself to my being a little tainted from time to time. Cynical about how adults treat their children. I’ve seen the worst of the worst and, unfortunately, I know that I haven’t seen the worst yet.
Another day for those thoughts. This was a gift to observe, a child being indulged and spent time with. Every child deserves this.
So does every adult.
What a better way to spend a sunny, Sunday afternoon? Rowing along the shores of Lake Erie with some buddies, these men and three others (not pictured) seemed to be having the time of their lives.
On a personal note, for all the time I spent growing up on this lake, you couldn’t get me in a kayak, rowing across it–I actually like to be able to see and touch the bottom when I’m in the water. When I was a young child, I have memories of my father swimming out on this lake until the sight of him became so small, I could no longer see him. When he re-appeared, becoming larger and larger as he swam back to shore, I was ever-so-very-grateful. I didn’t inherit his love of the water, but I did bring with me, into my adult years, his love for Presque Isle State Park. There’s something for everyone here, land lovers and seafarers alike.
Monday was a holiday for our county, so I took a few hours at the local park for a run and some photo ops. Although generally shy about taking stranger’s pictures, these gentlemen were more than happy to take advantage of a photo opportunity as they took their rods and reels out onto Lake Erie. A beautiful day for boating and anything else out of doors. It reminded me of how precious time away from the hustle, bustle and chaos of work is–and how important it is to just be anywhere but in my office.
That being said–we are headed away from home for a wedding in Atlanta this weekend, followed by a business trip for part of next week–I’ll be reading blogs, but will not likely be posting for the next seven to ten days on my own. Please don’t forget me!!! Check back next weekend, I hope to steal some moments for my camera and I while away.
Be safe everyone! See you in a bit…
I took an early morning jaunt to the park, in hopes of clearing my head and finding something to photograph. Not necessarily in that order. I saw this frame in one of my favorite park areas. So very apropos.
One modern day spiritual philospher tells us, “Wherever you go, there you are”, reminding us that, to fully enjoy life, one must stay in the present. This is conflictual for me. Sometimes I do not like my present. Why would I want to stay there? I seek to escape. But those far wiser than me speak the truth. We really are the creator of our own destinies–not that we are necessarily in control of our surroundings or situations; rather, we have the most control over how we accept and work through both the good and not-so-good moments of our lives. Vowing that we will make the best of situations and, if need be, summon the courage to change them, is the essence of serenity.
I’m still a work in progress.