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.