I stepped away from planting perennials in the rock garden and found someone eager to paddle with me in April. On Flathead Lake in April the air can be warm but the water is close to freezing. Before the mountains begin to release their snow and fine sediment flows down rivers into the lake, the water is clear. The water is deep blue and aquamarine and a kind of yellow in the shallows. On the best day between days that were too windy we paddled out to Wild Horse Island and into the shelter of Skeeko Bay.
During the day I thought about saying:
- This is where I found a Bighorn ram dead on the rocks
- This is where I saw a ewe with her lamb among the cliffs
- This is where I found an iceberg tucked inside the curled hook of a gravel bar
- This is where eagles used to perch before a wind storm blew down their snag
- This is where Native people found food in a starving time
- This is where I have ridden waves back to safety
- This is where we might find the horses
- This is where I find flowers
- This is the rock where friends and I watched a solar eclipse
But I realized it was better to be quiet. These are my memories, coins in my purse. I count them again.
A refreshing story of your adventure on the beautiful Flathead Lake. Thanks for bringing back memories of being there in the past.
Love this quiet telling of an accumulation of riches.
Quiet, reflective, deep memories that you share. Lovely.
Gary – I like it. Memories are kind of like photographs. Being there, now, is the best. Regards to Ram Das.
Thanks, Ed. As a photographer you know how photographs only approximate actual experience.
Gary, I appreciate the poetic wealth of your memories and, also, your choice to give fresh space to your companion to find her own. Great to know you are out on icy spring water!
Thanks. A wonderful poem. Diane
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Thank you, Babsje. Yes my arm is much better, thankfully, but we have been so busy with travel to see portions of the family that I haven’t been able to get back on the water. Even though I haven’t commented, I have really enjoyed your photos and accompanying stories.
Hi Gary. This was a truly lovely and reflective post. I hope your arm has improved and you’ve been able to create some new memories on your beloved lake since April? Best, Babsje