The shores of Lake Michigan are more charming while glistening in the moonlight


Veronica Vincent

The moonlight reflecting on the water in Grand Haven, Michigan.

I have never sat on the sandy shores of a beach for more than twenty minutes at a time.

My childhood was filled with endless days in the scorching sun—swimming carelessly through the waves that crashed on the beach behind me. As these days faded to evenings, I never had the longing feeling to stay in the water after the sun had set.

Beach days had always been associated with my mom and aunt tanning and my brother digging holes in the dry sand, while I navigated the brackish waters on my own. The day would diminish, and I would be involuntarily plucked from the reservoir; the sun dwindling as my sandy feet trekked their way back to the car where I drifted into my dreams during the ride home. 

I have vague memories of visiting my great grandparents’ home in Englewood, Florida as a kid. My family would take me to the neighborhood pool at night, and we would swim as the LED lights in the water reflected on us, mimicking the moon; that is the first time I ever recall night swimming. 

The chlorine-filled memory is nothing compared to dipping into the waters of Lake Michigan at midnight after a searing august day. I battled the waves as I trudged my way into the depths of the shocking warm waters of the lake. 

Pure bliss.

Serene and sterling. Alternating between floating through the waves and diving under its strong pull, tranquilizing me while I capture this moment in my mind. No beach day could compare to this midnight plunge.

All the sunsets I have viewed on this same sand are unparalleled to the moonlight settling into the waves.

The light reflects on the waters as the moon is slowly swallowed by the lake, wishing I could stay in the moment for eternity. All the sunsets I have viewed on this same sand are unparalleled to the moonlight settling into the waves.

The next night, I returned to my fantasy in the waters, indulging in the comfort of the waves once again. All the worries and stresses of life washed away into the current, never to be seen again—at least for this moment.

The calm that the lake had provided me with the night before was nowhere to be found; the waters were rougher and more playful, begging me to revert back to a child-like state, trying to jump over waves and campaigning against them.

Walking out of the water searching for a towel on the contradicting cold sand, only to dry off for a minute to catch my breath before returning to the lake. The only sound to be heard on the beach other than the crashing waves was the fit of giggles erupting from me and my best friend, as we realized these nights of midnight swims were coming to an end. 

Instead of sadness for the end of a memory, it was replaced with joy in the long-lasting recollection of summer and the time that our minds will drift off to while daydreaming.

The shores and the waves that crash on the beaches of Lake Michigan are stunning during the day, but they are unbelievably charming while being observed through the lens of crystal-clear midnight.