When I moved to Vero Beach, my very wise cousin, Karres, told me that living by the ocean is not always a comforting experience, especially for people like me who are prone to depression. During the fourteen years i lived on the beach, i came to realize what she meant. The vastness of the sea and pull of the tides affected me intensely, depending on the weather and the time of the month.
After a long day of teaching, I would park my car by the boardwalk at Jaycee Beach, so that i could gather my wits about me before going home to be with my dad. This was where i would cry and get out the frustrations of the day, so that i would not bring them home to him.
Looking out at the waves, I often felt that, at any moment, they would pull me under, and, as time went on, and my dad was becoming more withdrawn, I often wished they would. Some days, i would stand on the beach and hope that a huge wave would swallow me up.
Being a contained body of water, Lake Michigan has had the opposite effect on me.
From the moment I arrived here three weeks ago, and drove north on Lake Drive to Patty and Charlie's house, I felt embraced and nurtured. Several times, i have been so entranced by the view that i almost veered onto the sidewalk.
Today, i drove down to the beach, where several guys were wind surfing as a huge storm rolled in. All around me, in the parking lot, were people like me, who were watching the rolling white caps and the changing clouds. Fall has arrived and the temperatures dropped enough for me to finally pull out my fleece wear.
The guy in the photo below said that he came out most days, but his rule of thumb for braving the waters was that he did not go in when there was a 60 degree difference between the air temp and the water temp.
As he watched the waves, the guy in the car on the right of me locked his keys inside. Luckily, wind surfers carry tools, and Mr. Wave Watcher had a small screw driver, unlocking the door within minutes.