Tuesday, April 20, 2010

The Church Alter

I set out into the big lake with light winds from the NW and clouds. Here, in the lee of the hills the water is quite calm while a cool breeze washes through me.

This is church, more than any other that I've experienced. I don't know if there is a god and, if so, I certainly don't believe that any god cares much about whether or not I believe. But, as I move ever closer to becoming a child of nature, a job title that I will never be qualified for, the presence of something greater is never more apparent than it is here in my canoe.

And here, in these altered waters, and if one just sees, they will witness how brutally altered they are, I still know that all of our constructions, destructions and improvements are temporary. Nature will undo them eventually, and eventually is little more than a breath for nature. So many of these alterations and so much of the progress only denies us from the wonder and pleasure of the creation.

The water is higher today, the highest that I've seen. I find a construction barge moored near the big lodge, but the lodge and goose nest are just fine. With this high water, I work my way a hundred yards farther into the east marsh than ever before. It is the stunted swamp forest of the beaver, a tangle of misshapen trees, rarely bigger than 4 or 5 inches in diameter, and it requires twisting, ducking and nudging to make headway. I hear the whistle of a bald eagle, but never see it.

On the west side of the east marsh, I find a new goose nest in construction. The female sitting firm and grabbing cattail spears from around her and tucking them under. The mate watches from 20 yards out.

In the small circle lagoon, I find a pair of northern shovelers. I thought they had gone north, but here they are.

1 comment:

Kathleen Faulkner said...

Excellent post! Food for thought, thanks, Scott.