Wednesday, July 30, 2008

Yeti, and the ever present giant biting insects of the Great North Woods

Sophie overlooking Tahquamenon Falls

Sophie and Elise on the beach at Whitefish Point

At the harbor at Whitefish Point. Lake Superior is the cleanest, deepest and coldest of the Great Lakes, with depths reaching some 1,000 feet

Yeti went missing. It started storming yesterday late in the afternoon and I think he went down Swamp Lakes Road – the trail we take the pack down on puppy runs. I think he went to hide, but then we couldn’t find him. All the other dogs were around, and it was so unusual that he would ever leave the pack or us. At only 9 months, I worried about his abilities to find his way back. Jim, the owner of the Sled Dog Lodge, said there’s been a yearling bear roaming around the cabin for awhile. Thank goodness he turned up looking as innocent as ever. We promptly hooked him back up to his barrel with the other huskies.

Last night, unable to sleep because of Yeti and Jack yapping about being tied to the barrels, I wandered sleepy-eyed out into the dog yard at 1 a.m. to a million stars in a black sky. There is no cell phone reception or internet connection here. The dogs roam free with us on runs and the kids eat brownies and popcorn and play with the dogs.

I think of all the things that do not touch this area that I do not miss. Every time I come here, I feel grounded and home.

Tomorrow we are going to Tahquamenon Falls.

I am hopeful, so hopeful, about the job in Petoskey.

Rain falling on a tin roof in Michigan
The smell of earthy embers
Ash and fir
In the dim light of July in a steady-falling
Rain, my mind
Remembers the snow falling here.
Waking up, heavy boughs
Bent with fresh snow. Five degrees, and yet
Sweating from the heat.
Now the dogs hide in their barrels from this
Moody rain, and I am searching for home.

Home is a refrain.

The sky opens, and torrents of emotion fall
Speaking to me. They tell me I miss
The lightning. I miss the thunder.
But more than that, I miss the snow.

A flash of light brings me raw
I want to sit naked
In this rain.
The hours creep here and I embrace them. This rain on a tin roof in Michigan
The smell of earth embers
Ash and fir.

On the way, losing my wallet in Fenton,
I’m happy for the chance to throw it all away.
I’ve abandoned who I was at that Amaco on a dusty road in
Mid-Michgan. Maybe someone will pick up my wallet and
Become me and I’ll unfold, return to my self.

Returning to Michigan,
I just want to sit with this rain and be quiet and empty.
I am nothing.
I am no one.
I am the snow.
I am this rain falling over everything.
I am gentle, peaceful.
I am this smile.
I am the bear walking through the rain.
I am the doe tip toeing.
I am the dog curled in the dark night.
I am that star.
I am not there.
I am not there. I am here. Here.
I want this refrain.
Only this rain.

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