Thanks for the amazing support for yesterday’s story about My Enemy. You readers know how to make this wanna-be storyteller feel good!
Today we’ll change the pace.
I’ll show you some pictures from a magical wonderful delightful hike that my son, Christopher, and I took last week.
Are you ready? Let’s explore the shores of Gitche Gumee, or shining Big Sea Water, as Longfellow called our Lake Superior.
First, we walked through deep primeval forest.
Electric greens surrounded us.
Our sneakers grew wet from soaking ferns and plants and grasses.
Chris had never hiked here before.
I felt like a secret guide, showing him new places along the shores of Huron Bay.
We reveled in that feeling of newness, of exploration.
I admired cedar trees as we walked.
I always admire cedars.
Aren’t you convinced that cedars hold secrets in their red exposed roots, in their mossy barks?
Haven’t you always wanted to sleep outside on cedar roots as a full moon rose? You haven’t?
You might want to reconsider.
Ahhh, here we are: the lake!
Isn’t it grand, isn’t it majestic?
Doesn’t it expand forever like our hearts when we’re happy or delighted or joyful?
By the shores of Gitche Gumee, by the shining big sea water, stood the wigwam of Nokomis, daughter of the moon Nokomis.
Dark behind it rose the forest, rose the black and gloomy pine trees, rose the firs with cones upon them.
Bright before it beat the water, beat the clear and sunny water, beat the shining Big Sea water.
Oh, Hiawatha, we see you yet, in your cradle with grandmother Nokomis whispering, “Hush, the naked bear will hear thee.” And grandma calls the baby, “My owlet” and decades later we sigh over Henry Wadsworth Longfellow and his poem about Lake Superior and we still see Grandmother Nokomis when the moon is full and bright and Superior laps its shores, water becoming earth for a split second before withdrawing to its unfathomable depths.
In the meantime, Chris and I walked along Gitche Gumee. The afternoon felt hushed. It felt a magical place, indeed.
Someone waded into the water, that courageous someone, while someone else lingered on shore with her trusty camera. The picture-taker wished she would have the courage to swim. Oh, how she wished this.
No bald eagles showed themselves.
A bright white tail feather showed itself.
Chris found it.
Natives say a white tail feather is a special gift from the Universe.
Chris picked it up, and left it among the tall grasses beside the lake.
Flowers still bloom in early September.
Bloom while you can dear flower!
You know what approaches from the north, don’t you?
Enjoy your magnificence this day.
You also, dear fern.
Many of your brothers and sisters turn yellow and brown.
You still gleam in the woods.
Geese will soon honk overhead, winging south.
Guess who points the way to Gitchee Gumee? Guess who guides the way north?
Yes, dear reader.
Two ceramic cats sit atop an electrical box, hitching a ride to paradise.
We took their photo but did not disturb them.
Life is magical, I tell you!
Who would dream that ceramic cats sit undisturbed upon an outdoor electrical box, pointing the way toward paradise, toward Gitche Gumee? Who would dream it indeed?
And you, dear reader? When was your last walk on Mother Earth where you felt paradise as near as your next footstep?