Shelf

There are many things about Lake Michigan that locals equate with danger and death: the ice shelf, the E. coli, the undertow to name a few. I grew up knowing not to walk on the ice shelf. When everything is covered in snow it is unclear where the sandy shore ends and the water begins, you could step on a thin spot or an air pocket and slip into the lake unexpectedly. When you see the ice shelf you want to walk on it. It is strange and beautiful, a familiar landscape completely altered. Signs at the beach warn about it’s danger and that “death can occur" but you always see people out walking on the shelf. The lake claims lives every year, nature’s reminder of how wild and precious life is. It was March and the ice shelf on Lake Michigan was melting. It was the day after my sons’ funeral. I went to the lake. It felt like the only thing I could do.

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