Sunday, June 6, 2010

Indian Island, Rainbows, and a Walk with Red

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.


  1. Wonderful tale, as usual. How lucky you are to live in a beautiful place. Even when it's raining clear into May in Seattle, I look out my window and see green upon green and garden thriving. I know the world has ugliness in it, but the world around me is not part of that. I draw energy from the close-by beauty.

  2. Beautiful post. Beautiful photos. Beautiful thoughts. Thank you for taking me along with you on that journey.

  3. Linda, I love that you turned much of your yard into an organic garden. It's exactly what the world needs, IMHO. And, yes, drawing energy from the "close-by beauty" is, too. You're an inspiration.

    Mark, I'm grateful for your comments. Glad to have you along...

  4. What a wonderful visit with you son...those are to be cherished. This post made me smile...thanks!

  5. What a lovely story, told beautifully. Thank you for this. Rainbows have served as "promises" for generations, haven't they? Thanks for sharing this one with us, and for reminding me that maybe, just maybe, things are going to be OK!! Cheers!

  6. Lynne, yes, cherished times...

    Joan, rainbows always seem to show up just when I need encouragement, or a reminder, that the world really is a beautiful place.

    Thank you both for reading and commenting.

  7. Teresa,
    A beautiful post. I could feel the cool green air under the trees. It sounds lovely. We've had rainbows lately also. I always marvel at the beauty.
    Thanks for your visit to my blog. I'm always a little nervous when I write something on a hot button topic...but if I can't do it at my age, when would I?
    Jann aka #1Nana

  8. Jann, isn't it nice to be liberated by age, life. It's one of the things I love about blogging, freeing myself to be fully myself and unafraid to express that to others. Your post was really a great way to illustrate the topic of marriage equality.

  9. In my mind a dog makes everything complete. I can't imagine my life without one, and so far I haven't, except for a brief period in 1999 when two of my dogs passed away. It took me 6 months to get over it and move one with another dog.

    A double rainbow - you can't look to the sky and see anything more beautiful or special than that. :)

  10. Teresa: I didn't know you lived by a lake. Am envious, in a good way. Cutting the motor on the lake and talking sounds so peaceful. Double rainbows are rare.

    There's so much chaos and junk going on in the world that time with a son on a lake helps us make sense of these times.

  11. Gail: I always love hearing from you...

    Jack: Yes, the time I'm spending here is very special.

  12. Agh. This post gave me chills. Such beauty and such *power* in the double rainbow which most certainly instilled in you its intended gifts of strength and optimism, right? Teresa, people like you are what it's all about. There is nothing out there dark enough to dim your Light. It's that which gives me unwavering hope in this world. Love you, girl.

  13. My dear Kristy, Thank you, so much, for these very kind and generous words. "Strength and optimism," absolutely. Thank you, also, for the encouragement and beautiful example you offer to all of us through your words and images. You inspire me.

  14. Awesome mom, I really like the rainbows! Ive been meaning to read this one for a while. Great blog!