The summer is cooling, Fall is approaching, and the wind is whipping through the trees in a loud hushing sound. If you listen close enough, the waves from Lake Michigan make a sustained background of white noise.
When nature makes its mark known over the weird concoctions of man, there's a distinct calming effect. Over economics, over our funny little disputes, over bills unpaid. The mark of the world, and senses experienced by mankind for thousands of years, makes the day to day seem trivial.
Today I spoke with people house hunting in a well to do neighborhood for houses a third what they once were. Yesterday I spoke with a neighbor about her nephew, who mows lawns for a living and caddies, who bought a home and a half acre of land on a once upper middle class neighborhood for a mortgage payment of $300 a month. Today I drove to a home in Muskegon Township and passed half a dozen homes with foreclosure notices within a 1 mile stretch...homes on the outskirts that weren't terribly pricey to begin with. Moss growing on the rooftops. Mildew along the siding. Overgrown grass and a garage tilting and the door doesn't close anymore and the contents are open for all to see...broken appliances in limbo. Here the brief trek from the lakeshore and a couple miles inland shows the vast gulf between the rich and the middle class and poor. The mansions along the lake where a man works...a guy who once was a truck driver supporting his family, now a self employed picker-upper of dog poop from manicured lawns for a fraction of his original wage.
The night is clean. And the air is clean. And the sound of the waves is clean.