As I walk up and over the hill I cannot help but stop and stare in awe. A sense of calmness and revitalization instantly washes over me. The sometimes ferocious waves of Lake Superior are simple and smooth today. The ice is like crystals and the ice chunks are clacking together rolling up and down again and again along with the waves. The ice glistens in the sunlight and becomes brightest and almost blinding when it reaches the peak of the wave.
As I walk down the hill I look down and back up again and the same picture remains. I feel as though I am watching a painting that has come to life. I get an overwhelmingly sense of calmness as the up and down of the waves reminds me of my own breath. Up and down, Up and down. Again and again. I match the up and down movement of my chest from my breathing to the waves that are rolling in and am completely present in the moment.
However, I cannot help but notice the ice is melting. Even though Lake Superior hasn’t frozen over completely in many years. I can still notice less ice than even last year. I can see the grass peeking through snow on the hill as well as sand peeking through the snow on the beach. I again notice a difference in the amount of snow from the year before. I hear the chatter of a bird in the distance. These things are caused by the same. Climate change. Climate change is happening faster than ever and the affects are being shown more and more each year.
The burning of fossil fuels causes an excess amount of carbon to be produced into the atmosphere. Carbon dioxide is a heat-trapping greenhouse gas and traps more and more heat into our atmosphere. This causes the planet to warm up and in-turn less snow and ice. The birds moving more northwards is also a sign of climate change in Minnesota. The range of the birds moves more northward as the climate warms. The range shrinks and shrinks each year with an increase in climate change affects.
I look up at the sky and how expansive it is. Towards the south there are white fluffy clouds that sit lower on the horizon. The whiteness slowly fades to a dark grey as you look from southeast to southwest. It turns from bright white to dark and somber grey what seems so quickly. Even so, the grey-scale clouds only take up a fraction of the enormous sky. The sun is shining and the sky is bright and blue and slowly fades to a seafoam green shade along the horizon.
Suddenly, a stranger comes walking over the same hill I just came from and exclaims, “That’s awesome isn’t it? The way the ice is moving with the waves right now!” The beauty of Lake Superior does not go unnoticed. I look back again at the waves flowing with the glistening ice crystals and am in awe once again not only with the beauty but also the vastness and size of the Lake.
Though, I find myself looking leftwards towards the city. I notice the rolling hills and the geomorphology of Duluth. The up and down in the waves is seen again in the up and down of the hills formed by glaciers many thousands of years ago. I notice the smog plume that flies straight up from power plant into the sky. I cannot help to think of it as an eye-swore even though it takes up a fraction of the city. The city seems endless along the shore but also contained. It seems beautiful and vast like the lake but there is a distinct difference between the two. Yet the up and down of the hills in Duluth and the waves in the lake makes it hard to distinguish between them. Then I remember really there is no difference. Everything within the city is made from resources from the earth. It is all connected.