Life Smoke

Lake Smoke

2010 brought frigid weather to my neighborhood.  However, our lake waters are still much warmer than the air temperatures.  This temperature contrast has produced some very different lakescapes. 

What that means is that we have been seeing a phenomenon referred to by some as “Arctic Sea Smoke.”  I notice this event especially in the morning when I first wake and glance out my window to Lake Michigan.  Sometimes the “smoke” rises quite high above the water, then you see the sunrise or glimpse puffy clouds tinged pink with a sun trying hard to break through the cloud cover. 

Sometimes the phenomenon hunkers closer to the waters with a thick consistency that makes me think of a meringue on a lemon pie.  No matter how the “smoke” looks or behaves, I find myself lost in watching it and letting my mind drift to possibilities for my characters and within my life. 

Why?  Because to make my writing interesting and to give my characters depth, I must provide conflict and more often complications.  If I do my job well, like the “smoke” or “smoke” on the lake, these problems must be resolved.  Sometimes, I might want my characters have more trouble getting through their problems and at times those problems might overwhelm them.  But like the “smoke” on the lake, the right conditions will dissipate the condition, just as the right conditions and timing will resolve a character’s problems or a story’s conflict. 

Cold but Clear shoreline

In my own life, I’ve had times when a clear vision has been thickly obscured by “smoke.”  What I’ve learned is to trust myself that the “smoke” can be worked through or waited out.  It depends on the situation.  But that understanding is a major stress reducer.  I wasn’t born with this wisdom.  I had to earn it by navigating through the “smoke” of life.  Just like I make my characters do in my writing. 

What about you?  Do you let the “smoke” in your life tangle you up and keep you from moving forward?

Explore posts in the same categories: Life Skills, Weather, Writing

4 Comments on “Life Smoke”

  1. Edie Says:

    This is a deep thinker. I probably do let the smoke in my life tangle me up a bit. But below that smoke, I have faith that it will work out, too, and I keep going forward. Sometimes I just go slower than I’d like.

  2. Nancy Kaye Says:

    “Smoke” winds around our lives like a fog at times. However, I always know that the fog burns off with the sun. My fog will also burn off with help from my family and friends.

  3. caseyclifford Says:


    A deep thinker? Or perhaps just needing a few more moments in this hectic time to see if the example applies. Too much smoke makes clear thinking a bit more difficult. Though you seem to do well in all circumstances. 🙂

  4. caseyclifford Says:


    Interesting you mentioned fog. Technically the fog is caused by warmer temperatures over colder land or water. The Smoke is just the opposite.

    However, whether we’re engulfed in smoke or fog friends and family are our beacons to help us maneuver safely. Have a great week! 🙂

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