I was just having a good conversation with someone from Ludington, and it made me realize just how desperate I was to get over and see Lake Michigan again. It has been quite a while since I saw it last, and I always found Lake Michigan to be an awesome body of water. I know that during the summer months, most of the beaches get quite busy, but if I were to go in the later evening hours, there wouldn’t be as many people and I could watch the sun set over its horizon. I had always preferred the towns of South Haven and Saugatuck just because they were quaint little communities. I’m sure Ludington and Manistee are quite as quaint, too, but I’ve never been to those communities. Of course, I’m probably closest to Benton Harbor/St. Joseph, but those cities never struck me the way South Haven and Sauguatuck could. The significance of South Haven was that it has a nice downtown in addition to being on the lake. The same would go for Saugatuck, but it also is where the Kalamazoo River empties. It may not bear a great significance to the masses, but being born and raised in the city that shares the river’s name seemed to matter to me. When we lived in Kalamazoo, the closest lakeshore community would be South Haven, and so there were numerous trips there during my childhood, both family and otherwise. To walk out onto the pier and have the wind rush up on my face was pure contentment. It would be quite a delight if I could go back and be reminded of just how good it was.
One of the other things that was fun about going out there was climbing the huge sand dunes. To reach the peak was something of a great accomplishment, and when I came down, I couldn’t help but be amazed at the amount of sand in my shoes. And the times I went swimming, I know I preferred it when the four foot waves were coming in. You would rise up and all of a sudden be back down again. Now, I don’t ever feel like swimming in lakes anymore. But during childhood, it was one of the greatest thrills in the world.
In school, whenever we’d learn about the Great Lakes, it was a point that no one lake was more important than another. But I don’t know whether it was because Huron and Superior were so distant, or Erie and Ontario were so small, but in my mind, Michigan was the greatest of them all. It isn’t just because Canada didn’t touch it, although that would add to its greatness. It was that it felt like it was your friend, someone you could always go to if you ever needed anything. I just don’t think I’ll ever get that feeling if I ever go to places like Cedar Point or Niagra Falls. We all know that Chicago is my favorite city in the world, and part of the reason is because Lake Michigan laps up to it. And maybe it’s because I haven’t traveled the world as much as some, but to me, it isn’t only the greatest lake. It is the greatest body of water in all the universe. Yes, someday I would like to see the Mediterranean. I’ve seen the Gulf of Mexico and the Atlantic Ocean, but those just seemed bland to me in comparison. Nothing ever has equaled the greatness of Lake Michigan. Nothing ever will.