Saturday, March 20, 2010

Chicago lakefront sunrise!

I've been feeling overwhelmed, emotional, and worried lately.

When I reached Buckingham Fountain, I began breathing so heavily, gasping the cold air, as if I ran for miles. I felt so manic that I actually yelped in high pitches like an animal. I needed to see it to calm myself down. I just HAD to!

The sky changes so quickly in the morning and time was of the essence!

Buckingham Fountain in silhouette!

I've lived in Chicago my whole life and can you believe I've never seen the sun rise over Lake Michigan?

That is until now!

Overlooking the lake

I had some errands to run in the city yesterday and took an early train downtown.

I arrived in the Loop around 6:40 a.m. just as the sun started to rise! Something deep inside made me want to see it. So I high-tailed it past Buckingham Fountain to the lakefront, sat down, and just watched the magic unfold.

Close-up shot of the crisscrossed markings on the water!

I pressed my body against the metal railing and stared ahead like it was one giant movie screen. The deep pinks of the sky changing into warm golden yellows. The cool breezes creating the most intricate waffle pattern on the lake. The serenity of the view.

It's all starting to glow.....

Seagulls in groups of 10 or so circled overhead in a loud frenzy looking for morning tidbits while solitary ducks waded through the water at a leisurely pace.

Which one had the better life? The ones part of a group or the ones all by themselves? Were the isolated ducks sad? Lonely? Or did they just accept that's how life was for them? That they'll go through things alone most of the time?

Very close now.....

As I took it all in I wondered what my future holds and if there's even one worth holding. Will I always keep coming to this same spot all alone? Will I ever be happy? Will I ever have the life I want?

And as more seagulls flew over, some of them pooped in the water nearby and my thoughts suddenly shifted to, "They better not poop on me!"


And when the sun finally emerged and became too intense for my eyes, I knew it was time to go.

I guess that's what life is made of. Little moments all blended together to create something much larger. Too bad those moments can't always be good ones like this.

Ahhhh.....but it was lovely while it lasted.


naturgesetz said...

Good pictures to accompany an exciting narrative of an exciting time.

The trouble with sunrises is that they usually come when we're sleeping or getting ready for the day (getting dressed etc.).

But it can be fascinating to watch them — even more so if you start earlier, when it's still dark, and you watch the stars slowly fade away as the sky slowly brightens, and finally you get to the moments you captured. That's what I saw when I was on retreat.

Unknown said...

Wow! What a gorgeous view. I will bet it was even more magnificent in person. Good for you for following your gut and doing something like this. It was food for your soul.

As for the bad moments, I don't like the either but without them, how will we know when to appreciate good moments?

Aaron said...

i'll be in Chicago around this time next month and I'll have to try to make it to that place to see that sunrise! i love all the thoughts you had and i don't wanna comment on it because i think they're beautiful. the uncertainties are what make life so interesting (sometimes painful), and the individual perceptions make it unique. :) we could watch the sunrise together when i'm up and have a yarn.

Joey said...

Hey, Dean!

The pictures are truly awesome. I have never seen a sunrise in Chicago either. (Partly because I have never been to Chicago. LOL) Glad you got to witness one.

I don't think you will always be alone. You know I think you are incredible and will make someone very happy someday. Just keeping looking forward.

Take care of yourself and talk to you soon.

Ren- Lady Of The Arts said...

Lovely post and lovely photos-
I can feel the crispness of the morning.
Glad you avoided the poop!

Anonymous said...


My Flow Chart said...

Maybe the lonely duck is merely being independent while he waits for the right companion to fly by. One who is within reach, healthy, strong and ready to join him. Not one who is weak and only seems to fly or swim in circles when alone because the path isn’t so clear. Each sunrise brings a chance the perfect mate will be in that new morning sky, so long as he continues to look, and doesn‘t settle for less. While he waits, let us hope he goes about being the best duck he can, and doesn’t find himself in the murky waters of gloom. (And that no seagull poops on him.)

Nordic Monsoon said...

Hey, Dean:

Being alone or in a group should not define happiness. Everyone is capable of finding happiness in both. (of course, the grass is always greener) I hope you feel better.
God, I miss the serenity of Lake Michigan.


martha miller said...

Hey, Dean! You need to do that more often! Including the yelping aloud like an animal! :^O

My moments alone with nature are what help to keep me grounded the rest of the time. Good for you for getting up early to do that for yourself!

Dean, thankyou for all your great feedback and encouragement on my recent work - it means alot!

Hope it's stopped snowing in Chicago and that you are seeing some signs of spring today!

Dean Grey said...


When I got downtown that day it was still a touch dark. By the time I walked to Buckingham Fountain and to the lakefront everything started getting brighter.

The transition from night to day literally was unfolding before my eyes!



You are very wise. It's the bad moments that let us appreciate the good ones that much more!



I'd love that! If you're coming to Chicago you've got to see the lakefront!



I will try to keep looking forward, Joey!


Lady Ren!

I'm glad I avoided the poop too!



Thank you!


My Flow Chart!

I'll try being the best duck I can be!

But it's HARD going through difficult periods in life without that special someone at your side.



Hopefully you can experience Lake Michigan again, even if just a little bit, through my pics!



Yours is one of my favorite blogs! Of course I'm going leave feedback and comment!

And yes, nature is very healing and can ground a person. I DO need to do that more often!


I appreciate everyone sharing their thoughts with me!


ryan field said...

Beautiful photos.

David K Small, artist said...

Hey Cpt. G, nice photos ! and getting popped on by a bird is supposed to be very good like, so may birds cover you in sh_t! soon.

suzanneberry said...

Beautiful shots!!! I love the criss cross pattern on the water, I thought it was a painting! Beautifully written, lovely concept. What a wonderful blog post. I'm hooked.

Paul Benjamin said...

These pictures are beautiful. I can picture myself sitting out on the lake, or in the park witnessing them as they were being taken.

Randuwa said...

Absolutely awesome! Thanks!

Unknown said...

Wow! Amazing shots, Dean! So beautiful and peaceful!

Dean Grey said...





If that's true, David, then I hope you get sh!tted on.....a lot! LOL



Yep, the waffle pattern on the water was very noticeable that day!



What's your excuse? You live in Chicago. You should try it sometime!



You're quite welcome!



Peaceful indeed!


I'm glad all of you are liking these pictures!


Blakenetizen said...

The pics are beautiful Dean!
I'm using one of them as my cell phone wallpaper :)

Dean Grey said...


Thanks for getting permission from me first!

Kidding! Go ahead and use it. I'm flattered actually!


Writer said...

A couple of lines from a movie called "Next Stop Wonderland" spring to mind. The idea that one of the best things to do at lease once a day everyday is simply to take in something beautiful in nature, so to my mind coming out to the lake and watching the sun rise, or watching the gulls wheel and cry, that would indeed be a most happy life.

The other line - and actually this may be from another movie altogether - but it's basically that it is best to be happy and alone, because when two people can be happy and alone together, there is nothing greater in the world but that. :)

Dean Grey said...


That sounds lovely!


Unknown said...

I absolutely positively love sunrises and sunsets.

Dean Grey said...


Me too. That's when the sky is its most colorful.