February demands attention, its face fierce, eyes unrelenting. And along the harbor, where many dreams first birthed in my heart, I do not mind giving into what it wants.
My shoes are thin, no lining, nor is it equipped for winter Wisconsin elements. I step through sludge, puddles pooling in the parking lot, along the barren walkway that stretches around the maze of fishing docks, long empty of their summer cargo. Small hills of snow curve into ice and my stride knows no difference in a normal street. Chest expands in the cold, feels like warming fire in my bones. Hands search for heat in my pockets, as if holding on tight to this solitude, deserted streets after a dumping of snow.
Lake Michigan, solid and the same as how I left it, leads me down the harbor. It has always been faithful to me. Gray sky bleeds into the water and I remember how I used to step along these very spaces, imagining the brilliance of my life and amazed at the wonder connecting my soul to God through small-town simplicity with a long-standing nautical heritage strewn with stories of shipwrecks, sailing and salt.
Geese bob in the calm of the boxed in breakwater. Soft chatter between them. A man bundled walks his retriever, narrow snow shoveled sidewalk lurches us closer. We nod to one another, welded together by our languid paces and shared occupancy of the same stretch of time in this momentary eternity.
Then I am alone again, eyes matching the water and eager to memorize the jut of pier, size of spire of lighthouse gleaming like a church steeple. To me, there is no space more holy.
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