Wednesday, June 1, 2011

Recesses and crevasses

I long for - and seek out - the inner recesses and tiny, finger-like crevasses of life.

I am eager to get out on the lake tonight, so eager, I ran out of the Ranch without realizing all three batteries for my camera were dead.

Yes, it is suddenly summer here in northeast Ohio, with temperatures soaring into the low 90's.  It's balmy-hot as I paddle fast through the heavy, thick-with-summer air. It is Memorial Day weekend, and people suddenly congregate on the lake in droves. This weekend, like most weekends, finds me dirty and unkempt after having worked in the barn and kennels all day. The lake by the Ranch is a welcome relief. But what must the wild inhabitants who make this their home 365 days a year think of this onslaught of humanity that converges on this lake on this, the first "official" weekend of summer?

Every thing is still - so still, I begin to feel uneasy. Not a ripple on the water, save for my paddle cutting it cleanly. Not the usual host of wildlife at the water's edge.

Then, I see it: a muskrat appears under a thicket, paddling in a slow dark ripple. Evidence of beaver are nearby in chewed off branches; an barred owl calls in the distance: "who cooks for you? Who cooks for you all?" Even an unwelcome visitor - a mosquito - arrives on my arm to say hello. A fish jumps as bats dive at unseen insects above my head. My eyes shift focus to a spore floating in the air toward me. Life. 

If you are quiet, life reveals itself to you.

"Only by going alone in silence, without baggage, can one truly get into the heart of the wilderness." John Muir

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