Ode to Lake Superior

2015-10-29 23.11.28I have resided in Duluth my entire life, except for three years when I lived in St. Paul to attend Macalester College. Even though I love to travel, I will always call Duluth home. In my adult years I have become enthralled with Lake Superior. Now that I teach my fiddle lessons in Canal Park, I’m around the Lake much more frequently. My husband and I try to stop by to see the water either before or after work many days throughout the year, in all types of weather… I feel like I am finally beginning to learn of her many moods.

On summer days the lake is often a serene cobalt glass; I love to busk along the Lakewalk with my violin on these picturesque afternoons. There is nothing quite as beautiful as watching sailboats float over her calm waters against the backdrop of a pastel summer sunset. During the fall, the lake’s mood begins to shift; she creates these angry grey waves that spew onto the shore.
Gaelynn Lea Busking on the Lakewalk

The winter is desolate and intensely cold; the lake hardens into a giant white sheet of ice which more closely resembles the surface of the moon than any kind of hospitable environment. In the darkness of the winter nights the ice shifts and cracks; you can hear Lake Superior boom and echo with subtle power like a timpani drum. In the spring the lake churns as she slowly manages to melt her covering – jagged sheets of glassy ice are repeatedly pushed against the shore until they finally dissolve around the middle of May.

Duluth is a magical little town for those who can endure the weather – I’ve heard it lovingly referred to as the Zenith City of the Unsalted Sea, or the Paris of the North (the Lift Bridge is our version of the Eiffel Tower). Even though winter lasts for six months, the breathtaking beauty of Lake Superior which lies right at the City’s doorstep is enough to keep many artists inspired and creating year-round, myself included… Lake Superior is our muse.

Author: violinscratches

Gaelynn Lea is a musician and public speaker from Duluth, MN. She is passionate about disability advocacy, personal growth, and authentic living. She was the winner of NPR Music's Tiny Desk Contest in March 2016.