As my inaugural post on Word Press I have decided to write about a subject I will fail at. Today I experienced the most beautiful of God’s natural paintings and I will never be able to accurately describe it, but I will try none-the-less.
Husband and I drove down to Canal Park to take a walk around the Lake Walk. It was a windy day and Lake Superior was extraordinarily choppy; just the kind of thing we love to be in the middle of. We milled about for a while in some of the shops – I showed Husband a few he hadn’t seen before – and then made our way down to the lighthouse. It began to rain while we were standing at the end of the pier, next to the 100-year old lighthouse, but we didn’t care. Husband had thought ahead and brought a thermos of hot chocolate. The man loves me, what can I say? The cold rain didn’t dampen our spirits and we stood watching the violence of the sea laid out before us. It was as if we were watching a war being played out beneath us while we were safely atop a cement breaker. The water was in such turmoil we could see the huge waves jumping even on the horizon.
We decided to continue further on the Lake Walk and get another perspective on this battle. I chased a flock of seaguls, not knowing there was a woman trying to take pictures just behind them. She turned and said, “I hope they don’t poop on me!” Oops. I quickened my pace while Husband lagged behind laughing at me. As we got further down the boardwalk we decided to stop and climb down some of the granite rocks between us and Gitchigumi (the Ojibwe name for the lake). We stood there for quite some time. The lake was angry, but not with us. The crashing waves never reached us on our perch above the waters. The sky was dark, low clouds were flying past while higher ones lazily floated by. For these moments God’s color pallete was cold: dark blue, gray, and a touch of green.
But just a few minutes later, as we neared the end of our walk, everything changed. He threw out his old pallet and formed a completely new one of gold, red and yellow; in an instant everything was warm and inviting. A rainbow appeared over Duluth, then another appeared across the Lake over the city of Superior, and then a third appeared back over Duluth, just to the left of the first. The rainbows got stronger and stronger while golden sunlight poured over the opposite coastline. Then over the sea we saw hundreds of seagulls basking in the sun’s glory, warming their wings and flying higher and higher. The sun reflected off of their white feathers and made it appear as if their were divine beings sparkling, shining above the warring waters below.
The view captivated us for a long while, but eventually we had to continue on. We turned to walk back to our cars and WOW! Things just kept getting better. As the clouds that had been behind us began to part and let more and more of the sunlight through, the whole world turned a shade of gold. It was like stepping into a sepia-toned picture. The entire world seemed to be lit by candle-light and everything took on that warm, romantic hue. The low clouds that hung just feet over our heads, or so it seemed, looked as though they were ice crystals forming for the first time across a pane of glass. The golden fingers reached out in every direction. I have never seen anything like it before. I spun around and around to take it all in and my heart hurt because I knew we would have to leave this magic.
The scene kept changing, though, as we walked away from the shore and toward our car. The rainbows that had faded as the sun grew stronger now began to reappear in the mists floating through the atmosphere. As we drove back up the hill toward our apartment the sky went from gold to rose and the high clouds reflected the setting sun perfectly back to us.
This was an absolutely perfect evening and the windburn was completely worth it! My regret is I didn’t have the camera. On the other hand, perhaps this was serendipity; I was able to view this real-life, real-time painting being played out right in front of me, through my own eyes, instead of through a viewfinder.