It was another magical evening on Upper Whitefish. As dusk fell, a double rainbow appeared, not just over the lake, but right out from my deck. It was complete, with each end settling on the water. Neighbors on both sides, up for the weekend, came out to take photos as well, commenting on the rarity of seeing a complete double rainbow. Exactly through the middle of the arch, was Indian Island.
Last Saturday, on Memorial weekend, my younger son, Coleman, came over by boat from his dad's resort just down the shoreline and took me for a ride over to the island. It is now called Big Island, a unimaginative name, given by an unimaginative bureaucracy, that holds nothing for me. I prefer its original name, which does. The island is an old growth forest comprised of sugar maple and basswood, along with a few white pine, one of which is probably close to two hundred years old. Aspens grow along the banks.
When we arrived, we saw that a few people had set up camp just off the small beach, their tents among the trees. A black lab came down to meet us. His name was Red. We returned his enthusiastic greeting and then chose a trail leading up a small hill, with Red fast on our heels. He seemed to want to tag along, so we promised his owner we'd make sure that if he continued along with us, we would not return without him. He said that would be fine and off we went. We walked up to where the cathedral of trees I mentioned in an earlier post still stands. It's as beautiful and feels as good as I remembered it from years ago. I had arrived with mixed feelings about allowing camping out on the island, but Red's companionship offset it. He made our small version of a walkabout more complete somehow.
When we got to the far side of the island, we sat down on the bank overlooking the lake, underneath a canopy of trees. Red did a little exploring within sight of us and then waited patiently while we talked about life and the state of the world. It was the kind of talk we both appreciate, envisioning together what we hope to see. From inside that green paradise, it made it a little easier to imagine that world, for ourselves and our home, planet Earth.
A short while later, we continued on the path, which circled around, taking us back to the beach. We thanked Red for joining us and said our goodbyes. He returned to his crew, as we climbed in the boat and headed back to my place. As we moved across the water, Coleman would occasionally cut the motor to share his thoughts about his own recent experiences that not only illustrate what we're hoping for, but expect to see. After all, it starts with expectation.
Last evening, the rainbow seemed to be a continuation of our visit to the island. With all that would appear to be wrong with the world, it still speaks to me of promise and all that it implies. That promise lingered, turning into a deep pink shadow of itself as it faded, that same pink moving silently on the surface of the water. For several seconds, off to the right, lightning flashed.