Tuesday, June 16, 2009

"In Every Wood... a Different Green"

I woke up this Minnesota morning to heavy rain. We're talkin' cats and dogs. It's not something I've seen much since I started living in the high desert. Yes, we get our so-called monsoon season, consisting mostly of afternoon rains of short duration. This is rain that turns everything soggy, in a good way.

Yes, I'm still here, in the land of my youth, spending time with family and old friends. I've been doing some back road driving, some revisiting of places I've lived, houses full of my memories. Yesterday I drove by the house we moved to when I was thirteen, on Birch Lake, in Hackensack. My memories of canoeing that lake are among my favorites. There's something about the rhythm, the cadence of paddling, that speaks to me, lulls me into a fine and familiar place. On the water, surrounded by green, is a nice place to just Be.

My parents had a small cafe and rented canoes on the side. There were four of them on a rack on the end of the building. They were beautiful in red, yellow, turquoise, and white. We had our pick of colors most days. My sister, Jane, and I would carry it two blocks to the beach where we'd push off for an hour or two of paddling the shoreline. We were early teen-agers and having the time of our lives.

I plan to do some canoeing, as soon as it stops raining. I'm not complaining, though. It is so green, so lush, and it smells really good. I'm reminded of these lines from a poem by Tolkien:

"I sit beside the fire and think
of how the world will be
when winter comes without a spring
that I shall ever see.

For still there are so many things
that I have never seen;
in every wood, in every spring,
there is a different green."

And so it is. And Life goes on...

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