Gracious Beginnings

We are a band of brothers, a fleet of sisters and mothers, fellow-travellers into the dense thicket of lakes and streams, portages and places we will visit. We live on the tide of wandered imaginings. We wait and wrestle with uncertain weather, our eyes always trained to an indifferent sky. We gather our purchases, give a pat to our canoe, ground our packs in open ports and fly towards the first carry. Eager to be off, Ready to separate from the accustomed world to the reckless, free-flight instigations of nature. There is our healer. There is our dutiful friend. There is the medicinal we require from the fast flurry, from the dour and demanding clan. We leave our

Hypotheticals: Chasing Phantoms

A great weight we can carry if we only think about what might or could occur. Do you do this with situations such as we are facing right now? There is a tendency towards speculation when we are down or when we feel vulnerable or alone. Hypotheticals are precisely that, wisps of campfire smoke that follow us around the fire ring no matter where we sit. On one level, they are helpful and are a necessary part of life. We must forecast things that could happen to be ready if or when they occur. Hypotheticals are precautionary. They can prepare us for action. But the shadow side is that hypotheticals can also keep us too distracted and anxious. We can overthink every new possibility that comes in

Swamp Merry-Golds

Marigolds first appear in the ditches, far before the summer crowd. They are the first to signal the birth of spring. They lie in low places, move from the muck and drainage to the sunlight and to raised recognition. They reflect the sun. They are the celebration of life at the bottom of a nondescript ditch. They compete with the browns and plainer language of a pine forest in early April and May. They are harbingers of what is to come. Heralds of another, brighter day. They compete with no one. They are the original, the first. They proclaim the colors in a world of grey, a world of frost and fading ice. They wait for no cue; they advance with elaborate design.

Spring Wait

Only a mountain has lived long enough to listen objectively to the howl of a wolf. A Sand County Almanac Aldo Leopold It is becoming unsafe out on the ice of the interior lakes that stretch across the Boundary Waters Canoe Area. The snowmelt has created slush. On some of the surfaces, the white light of ice is darkening. It is a time of waiting. Islands are inaccessible except to a few. Stores are absent of tourists since it is an in-between season. Winter is receding. Spring is not yet here. While we wait for summer, the warmth is tentative and fleeting. Yesterday, the temperatures dropped, and it wanted to snow. For a few moments, snowflakes drifted down and then stopped. The first robins

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Grand Marais, MN 55604, USA

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