summer of becoming – two women, one canoe 2

Day 2, afternoon, Timberwolf Lake

Sleeping last evening with the fly pulled back, I was greeted with a canopy of stars each time I woke to roll over. Awake for the day at 5:30am (we indeed did go to bed early), I rose to a rose-colored dawn kissing the edges of my friend’s tent. Another leisurely morning over coffee, my friend and I talked for unscheduled hours, sharing what had remained unspoken between us for these long months since the breakup of our children’s longtime relationship. We shared our mutual grief at the loss with a tenuous grip on how to tread carefully in exploring that tender terrain with one another, wanting to protect and to honor both our children’s trust and their hearts, while somehow maintaining our relationship. We have both tried not to ‘talk about’ what happened, but rather to simply love one another – and also our children without judgment or blame. It has been tricky, of course, to negotiate that boundary, as the conversation between women friends so often revolves around our concerns for our children. This morning, I learned that my friend’s grief is fresher than mine, her love for my son still strong, as is mine for her daughter.

Getting a much later start in the day, therefore, we have set up camp here on Timberwolf Lake, where we’d stopped for a late lunch and decided to stay, as the wind was already up and my friend was feeling quite fatigued. The day has been warm again, the heat sapping our energy, but, unlike the last campsite, there is much shade here. This campsite is as overgrown as the one where Don and I stayed on this lake last autumn.  Along the path to the box, one’s body is tickled by the tendrils of plants, whose fingers reach toward one another across the passageway, and there was not one speck of paper in the hole. Though there is a strong breeze stirring the waters, this lake is quiet of people- I wonder if it is not often used.

Definitely less exposed in myriad ways, I feel sheltered here. There is no sandy beach, nor granite ledge overlooking the water, so I have created a perch for myself in amongst the greenery on a small boulder, replete with a back rest. The dome of sky is teeming with white and gray cumulus clouds, which I do hope will clear by nightfall as tonight is the night to view the Perseid showers. I think perhaps we may have showers of another sort, however. I do hope they hold off until after dark, as we hope to revisit the boggy passageway through which we paddled to arrive here, to pay a visit with the other creatures who may also come out for a drink in the evening.

The water lapping intoxicatingly now, I gaze up to be surprised by two canoes that must have passed through the longer 845 meter portage from Misty Lake. It looks as if they are headed toward McIntosh Lake, our originally planned destination for the day. Reenergized by my afternoon rest, I feel as if I too could pick up a paddle and make my way there, but my friend is still weary, and I am content with where we have landed. A good lesson is here for me in letting go of preconceived notions (control) and instead responding to what-is .

There is so much plant life here- flowers and grasses, berries and shrubs- that are unfamiliar to me! A wide variety of habitat is visible from where I sit, nearly 360 degrees of forest and water, meadow and bog. I think I shall delight in what is here, rather than lament over what I imagine to be ‘there’.

Ah, such moments, hours, afternoons, days, of rest are healing for us all…body and mind, spirit and soul. For now, though, I think I should pitch my tent before the night is upon me.

It is already 4:30pm



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