Family pull stronger than North ShoreSAM COOK: The other night, when the moon was full, a couple I know looked out their picture window and saw the moon shining down on Lake Superior. They are the kind of people who know how to seize a moment, to really immerse themselves in an experience.
By: Sam Cook, Duluth News Tribune
The other night, when the moon was full, a couple I know looked out their picture window and saw the moon shining down on Lake Superior. They are the kind of people who know how to seize a moment, to really immerse themselves in an experience.
They are romantics who love art, music, the north woods and the big lake. They have traveled to fascinating places. I always look forward to their postcards sent from distant destinations. The notes are full of insight and passion, often revealing what they’re feeling, not just what they’re seeing.
When they saw the moon over Lake Superior the other night, they didn’t just glance at it and move on.
“We turned out all of the lights, put on some choral music and just watched the moon and the clouds for a couple of hours,” my friend said.
A couple of hours. Imagine that.
The moon was dodging in and out of thin clouds, he said, throwing its white light down upon the water.
Hearing them describe that evening reminded me that one of the things I find most gratifying about living in northern Minnesota is what comes up in conversations with friends. People here talk about rivers and moose and the sound of trees popping on cold nights. They talk about the raptor migration and the calling of an owl and being pelted by wind and spray coming off Lake Superior.
That’s certainly true for the couple who put on their music and watched the moon the other night. I consider them kind of a quintessential North Shore couple. They are drawn to the vessels that ply the big lake and know many by name. They build fires on cobblestone beaches. They watch ice formations blow in and out along the shore.
But something has changed in their lives. Their children are grown and gone to the Twin Cities, doing well, having their own kids now. As much as my friends love this country and all it stirs within them, they find it painful to be so removed from their kids and grandkids. They visit when they can. But it hurts now, driving north again.
So, they’re exploring ways to be with their kids and grandchildren more often. They aren’t sure what that means yet. But at some point, they say, it could mean leaving the picture window where the moon rises over Lake Superior and moving to the Twin Cities.
It surprises me that they would consider leaving this area, but I suppose it shouldn’t. It is one thing to love a piece of country or a body of water that you’ve called home. But it is nothing like love for the ones you have brought into the world, and now the ones they have brought into the world.
If my friends leave, I will miss them a lot. But I will remind myself that they followed their hearts to come north, and they will be following their hearts again if they go.