Tuesday, August 29, 2017


The water's surface was as smooth as a meticulously sanded chestnut table top,  crafted by a master woodworker.  The ottertail paddle was lifted from the water's surface at the first hint of sun.  It was then gently laid across the wood gunnels and made a soft ka thunk as it balanced there.  A trickle of water fell off the tip of the long blade creating a pleasing and refreshing sound, gentle as a zephyr wafting past one's ear while slowing to a soft drip until finally, all was still and silent. The melody created by water falling from the wood of a paddle can only be realized in a canoe at early morning while resting on gentle water.  This symphony of natural, liquid sounds offsets routine and chaotic daily life that occurs out there, in the hard world. 

The sun slowly rolls back the darkness to reveal a dense forest on the shoreline separated from the water's edge by boulders and fallen trees known as snags.  These were once magnificent beings who finally succumbed to the effects of a greedy lake that demands more and more offerings from its shoreline.  The process is slow and subtle but the water will win all the battles for supremacy and eventually the war

The canoeist slowly turned his head in all directions drinking in the beauty and breathing deeply the sweet coolness of the morning - the fragrance divine and lovely, stirring the senses as would a fine red table wine on one's palate. 

The corners of his mouth turned up in a smile as he glanced down at the face of the golden dog lying asleep in the center of the canoe,  its chin resting on the thwart. He grasped the paddle, inserted it quietly into the water and gently pulled it back alongside the gunnel.  The tracks of his passing appeared temporarily on the surface of the water, just as the tracks of his Golden Son would someday leave tracks on his heart.  Those tracks would be indelible.   He drew the paddle back as he felt the sun warm his face and he knew it would be a good day to be alive.