Wednesday, July 7, 2010

What do they dream?

Many mornings, I wake up and taking my cup of coffee, I sit in the quiet and look at what I call "the dream book". The book has detailed descriptions of fur trade routes and locations throughout North America and while many of the places are now inside of cities, most are not and most are so remote that no city will ever be built nearby. Most of the places are dreams.

Some days in my canoe, I am the voyageur, a member of the coureurs de bois, heading into the north woods of my smallest of wildernesses. I do this because I can and because age is no reason to stop dreaming.
The NE beaver lodge

Only death is a good reason to stop dreaming and to stop dreaming is a good reason to die.

The portage east to the big lake is fast paced. The dream book always puts urgency and purpose to the day's trip. When one goes towards an unknown end, it should be done decisively.

A rower in a shell is off the put-in and I wonder what he dreams speeding backwards in his craft. I can't imagine anything other than Olympic gold medals, and while the feel of a good stroke must be magic to his hands, his dreams are far too distant for me to grasp and I return to my unexplored north woods lake.

A power boat speeds by and I imagine that he dreams that he is on the PT109, or maybe the Miss Bardahl. Too often, the toyship drivers seem to be dreaming in their sleep. But, he passes, aimless rocket that he is, and the north woods lake returns.

The real ship drivers don't seem to dream. They work. And, when they are nearby, I feel safe, because I can always look up at them and see that they are looking back at me. They are predictable.

Today, my farthest north is Yesler Creek, where the beaver lodge is so covered in new vegetation that few others would even guess that it was there. A falcon flies past, very high overhead. I've never seen one so high above and I notice the long body, the long body that gives it stability when it dives after prey.


Kathleen Faulkner said...

I love this post! Thanks, Scott.

ellen said...

lovely Scott- without dreams we're just a bunch of working lumps… x thanks!