Saturday, February 20, 2010

Chance Meetings

A woman greets me as I portage down the big hill towards the big lake,
"It's a great day for a canoe trip," she says.
I reply, "they all are."
The mile portage to the lake has almost become a performance art piece. Like what I consider to be good art, the sight of me and my canoe moves people, in some way. Some are wary, waiting for a string of expletives to come bursting forth from the clearly deranged man, others crack a joke, new to them, but usually stale to me... but it is something, it counts. Some just smile. Sometimes, someone tells me one of their own canoe stories. This is special and I feel a kinship and know it to be a privilege to hear their story. I can't remember all of their faces, but I remember most of these chance meetings and know that there are several others that have faded from memory. They have all been good... this would not happen if I did not take the time to walk my canoe to the water.

It is a beautiful day with a cool north breeze and a cloudless sky, a winter reminder that spring will happen. An eagle is perched above the south nest in Union Bay. In the NE lagoon (above), I explore and just sit, and a man and his young boy wander out of the brush, unaware that the mound they are standing next to is a beaver lodge. I paddle over and I tell them where to look for beaver sign and where the big eagle's nest is. He says that they will rent a canoe and come back, and I know that they will do just that. I remember days like that with my dad... that's why I am here.

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