Here’s the Thing… Magnificent Mille Lacs

Mille Lacs Lake is a true jewel of Minnesota. It, at the same time, delights me and frightens me.

More often than not, the lake is like a miniature ocean, with waves dashing and splashing to the rocks and beaches on the shoreline. Often you see white caps and on less than sunny days, it appears gray and ominous.

I’ve been out on a launch on such a day and I wouldn’t exactly call them waves as much as breakers that tossed us about like salad fixin’s in a big bowl.

It is often that a drive by this huge body of water in Central Minnesota causes me to shudder and be thankful I was ashore.

But on several occasions, the scene has been much different.

Take last Sunday, for instance. It was hot, oppressive to say the least. Staying home didn’t seem like a good way to pass the day because after weeks of artificial comfort, the air-cooled interior of our house was becoming stagnant.

I longed for the freshness that an open window could provide. Alas, the heat won out and the windows remained shut.

But a cool car ride, we decided, and a change in venue, could possibly make the day bearable.

So hubby and I prepared tall receptacles of iced beverages enough to get us through the next couple of hours and headed out in the comfort of my Sable.

From inside, admiring the lush green of the surrounding countryside was enjoyable. There was a blue sky above with occasional puffy white clouds and the country backroads we took were peaceful. No speeders, no road rage, only an occasional wildlife sighting.

We drove as far as Garrison, ate dinner and turned around to head back home. Not quickly, of course, this was a lazy day of summer and we didn’t want to rush it.

But the day was waning, although the sun wasn’t quite ready to slip into its dark abyss.

As we drove around the west shore of Mille Lacs the view was spectacular.

The lake was calm, not mirror-calm, but calm, and of a bluish tint, a pale azure, I would say.

The waves were gentle, like a hundred kittens lapping milk from a shallow dish.

In the sky over the water there were pink cotton candy-like puffballs rising from a frothy layer of creamy clouds, rolling gently across the horizon making way for the glorious sunset that was about to commence.

And it did, lighting the sky with a magnificent blaze of peach-colored clouds bursting into a brightness that caused the whole western sky to look as if it were on fire.

Here’s the thing... Some things in life can be both beautiful and terrible at the same time. Like the changing temperaments of Mille Lacs Lake, we need to be less critical of the parts and look at the whole. Works especially good for people, if you know what I mean.

MaryHelen Swanson

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