A Perfect Day

Monday, June 14, 2010

On the shores of Lake Michigan, a buttercup cocks its head and listens to the whispering wind.

High on the Indiana dunes, dry sand skips merrily along, looking for a place to rest.

The flag at the Munster Town Hall lifts halfway and stays there.

At Wrigley Field, the wind nudges a ball into the bleachers. Then the camera pulls back and shows white sails showcased against blue water.

And at the Hammond Marina, I am getting ready to join them.

Flinging the rope off the post, I give Freizeit her freedom. She backs out of her berth and heads for the marina entrance.

Freizeit means "free time" in German, and she is built for enjoyment. Sleek and white with dark green accents, she is rigged with one mast and two sails.

After we clear the marina entrance, Roland turns the bow into the wind. I raise the main sail and cleat it off, then raise the head sail.

"Let's go toward Chicago," Roland says as he turns off the engine and lets the wind take over.

We relax in our seats, soaking in the silence. Well, not complete silence. We hear a gentle "plash" as the waves caress the boat, and a soft "whoo" as the wind plays among the sails.

I watch contentedly as the Museum of Science and Industry grows larger and then smaller and the Chicago skyline becomes more pronounced.

All too soon, Roland glances at his watch and says, "We'd better head back now." Working in perfect harmony with the boat, we swing 180 degrees. Then we settle into our seats and let the wind take us home.

The azure water laps against the side of the boat, and the sun smiles down on us.

Soon the marina looms ahead. Roland turns the bow into the wind, and I take the sails down.

As we pull into our berth to tie up, the wind dies.

The camera panning the lake near Wrigley Field shows sails flapping. But the baseball fans are on their way home after a Cubs win.

The flag at the Munster Town Hall hangs limp.

High on the Indiana dunes, the grains of sand settle to rest.

And on the shores of Lake Michigan, the buttercup straightens its head.

The wind has retired at the end of a perfect day.

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