The march into fall has more power to signal a transition than any other change in the seasons.
The cooler nights of late August and early September creep unsteadily, and then, wham, the autumn wind is running upside the cottage and slamming the unsuspecting – those lulled by the brilliant sunshine into thinking the weather is in a kind of stasis.
I point this out because I was recently hoodwinked.
After a summer of getting my sea legs, I was brazenly hotdogging the Lake Huron waves on my paddle board recently ... until I got slapped down. Literally.
My board nosed sideways, parallel to the waves, dumping me into the chilly, roiling water. I couldn't believe they did that.
I say “they” because when you get to know the lake on a daily basis, you tend to assign it human characteristics. You think you know Huron, you think you've established a relationship, based on experience.
But anthropomorphism has its limits. In this case the waves, which I had respected all summer long and which I thought I now knew – and might even outwit – threw me for a loop.
Casualties included my Google 15 hat , a memento from my daughter's brief stint at Google back in 2013, the company's fifteenth anniversary. (If you find it on the Michigan shoreline, let me know.)
Then there was the drowning of my Fitbit, which would have had a chance, but the waves kept knocking me down in the shallow water and I couldn't keep my arm raised long enough. It remains in a bag of rice, its resurrection doubtful.
And my left knee took a little twist as I clawed to grab the board and my foot remained wedged between two rocks. It's still a bit out of whack, but gradual exertion is bringing it back around.
So I've agreed to let the lake be its ever-changing self. And to acknowledge the limits of my power to resist its momentum.
I'm back to respecting Huron's transitions as they come.
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