Two canoes, four packs and four people pushed off on a typical wilderness lake. Grey rock and green trees outlined the waterways past bays, points, and islands. The rhythm of nature begins to slow the brain waves. Small whitecaps challenge us to dig a little deeper with the paddle in our unhurried pace. The four of us represent 130 or so trips to the Boundary Water Canoe Area Wilderness.
We paddle into a river system with some small portages around dangerous water, cross beaver dams and into the beginning of what is left of a forest fire from five years ago. Black trees and cracked rock are all we see. The fish still bite and the bugs have found their way back but it’s very dead and barren. Small plants are beginning to grow in the crevices of the rock as all the humus and top soil was burned. The swamps, bogs, and strips of low land are green and seem to be recovering better as long as there is water to keep the hydroponic effect going.
The fifth lake we portage into is mostly green again. there are nature sounds and we realize the last four lakes have been on “Mute”. The difference between life and death is beyond words. My mind wandered to visual illustrations of relationships from the vibrant to the dead. I know of marriages that look quite charred. I see hydroponic relationships that will dry up all too easily (thus the saying “puppy love leads to a dogs life”).
I am here to slow down. My busy life bumps and blurs any perspective I may have of my relationships. family, future goals, and my relationship with God. My soul is still, It is well but it is cluttered with busyness. All my stuff could burn tomorrow and life would be hard but I do not have to be in the wilderness to find peace.
I do struggle with getting older. The rocky paths and portage trails are steeper and longer than I remember. The days have shifted a couple of gears faster and lounging around camp is almost as enjoyable as bushwhacking to hidden lakes with no trails. My sense of adventure is still off the charts but sometimes I lose the charts (don’t think too hard about that statement).
The guys are out fishing and caught breakfast. We had fish for lunch and Supper and threw quite a few back. There are perks in the wilderness and one of them is cooking great food over an open fire. Another is getting so tired you have the best sleep of your life (disclaimer here as moaning wolves, big animals wandering by the tent and beavers falling trees in the night bothers some campers).
Sunsets challenge me. As I watch I make notes to self: why not have some color in one’s life? Why not choose an abundant life? Why not work hard and dig deeper against the whitecaps of life? Make you marriage vibrant, Take more people fishing, know God well enough to experience his peace and presence, Keep your mind sharp and growing and keep you body fit enough to have a great trip #61.