Saturday, May 28, 2011

Joy and Consolation

May 21, 2011
Moreau Lake State Park

The frog had eyed the heavens from his marsh,
until his mind was filled with visions,
and he saw more than belongs to this fenny earth.
He mistrusted that he was become
a dreamer and a visionary.
Leaping across the swamp to his fellow,
what was his joy and consolation to find that
he too had seen the same sights in the heavens,
he too had dreamed the same dreams !

HDT Journal, May 21, 1851

Today, one hundred and sixty years to the day from the Journal entry above, was a day eagerly anticipated by many. Some would-be prophet had predicted May 21, 2011 to be the Day of the Rapture, the end of the world as we know it, the beginning of a new spiritual existence. It was even specified that this would occur at exactly 6 p.m. !

Well it so happens that at exactly 6 p.m. today, I happened to be in my favorite place with a treasured friend, on a twilight paddle on Moreau Lake. I did not disappear. Nor did any of my companions. Was it the Rapture?

At the very least, it did seem a vision of something wonderful.
Yet the fenny earth remains.

It had rained for days, including today, and there were only four of us who set off from the boat launch - Gary, Jim, Rick and myself. As if by magic, just before 6 p.m., the skies cleared and the water was smooth as glass.

Some folks renting the cabin sat outside, enjoying the evening as we glided past.

The water is still high in the lake, and we floated right over
the Sandbar at the Beach.

There is the main lake, and then another section I call
the Back Bay, on the far side of this little fishing bridge.

Which was a tight squeeze to get under, especially
for someone tall like Jim!

At the beaver lodge, which is largely underwater at the moment,
we met a painted turtle who was unusually calm.
She stayed put, even as we talked to her.

Unlike this fellow, who quickly plopped into the depths after I got a little too close. Look at those long front claws, which is a clue that this might be a male.

What a fantastic evening - the water, clouds, the mountain -

and we mere mortals floating on reflections of heaven.

This was just a brief blessing of good weather, with more rain already on its way. So we took our time, knowing it was a gift.
There was even a glimpse of a rainbow. It lasted just a minute or two.
I think that only Rick and I saw it.
How many wonders, large and small, have he and I been witness to!

[from the same Journal entry:]The revelations of nature are infinitely glorious
and cheering,
hinting to us of a remote future,
of possibilities untold;
but startlingly near to us some day we find a fellow-man.