Thursday, April 2, 2015

Peace and Loons Calling

There's always that blank page to consider when I sit down with you. You are so quiet. Can't we just have tea and imaginary cookies? No, that doesn't help. Imaginary cookies leads me to crave real cookies and that's bad for me, so how about some fruit? I'm not a big fan of mango unless we're in Hawaii, but then why can't we be in Hawaii?

We could be looking out over an angry ocean, one for which the surfers eternally hope. We'll watch, feeling a bit of adrenaline and sympathetic pain with each crash. Neither of us really wants to leave the shade of our umbrellas to find a board, though I might feel differently if it were kayakers I was watching. Why is there that difference? I've seen people in kayaks surf a wave. I've seen them crash and roll for a bit before the wave spits them out. It was always a bit beyond me anyway, those big waves. When Mike and I rafted big waves sometimes, I was usually happy to graze the edge of anything absolutely crazy. The Methow was my limit, just a little beyond, I think. He and I were suited that way, enjoying about the same amount of risk with our adventures. We liked some big water, but we weren't quite adrenaline junkies. I think the trekking was more about the solitude and the independence. There is something empowering in being able to carry everything you might need for a week and living out in the wilderness, in being able to handle what you encountered.

There were so many peaceful evenings after dinner was made. Loons called. In the movies, a loon call is made to sound creepy, but when you're outside, dinner has been satisfying, your arms ache with ten or so miles of paddling, and the loons appear in silhouette on the lake and cry back and forth, it is a sound of beauty and solitude.

They seem like ancient birds, black and white dots and herringbone plaid with their black beaks and red eyes. They're curious and sometimes when we paddle, they come up near our canoes and look as if in staring they could remember what kind of big animal this is that smells of human but floats on the water like waterfowl. And we have too heads and sometimes three, but the three-headed ones smell of a mix of human and dog. Many of the animals, moose, bear, and deer, don't recognize people paddling a canoe as actual people and their fear is abated.

But the loons time is dusk and there are sunsets reflected in water with a silhouette of a loon, something I never managed to capture in taking a million pictures. Do you remember when you had to carry rolls of film? For one trip, I accidentally switched my contacts and I have three rolls of exposures of blurry loons. But it's the sound of a loon in the evening night that brings me so much peace. Mike used to be able to mimic the sound and get a loon to answer him. That is one of the things I have always loved about Mike.

Maybe we should meet on a lake in the Adirondacks at sunset. What do you think?

Thank you for listening, jb

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