Thursday, August 5, 2010

Duncan Lake – The New Season

Yesterday I walked under the familiar canopy of tall pines and rushy oaks on the path that leads to Duncan Lake. A year had passed since I stepped foot on the carpet of orangey rich pine needles. My eyes scanned the area; I imagined the tent, the outdoor kitchen and screen house. The shower room still had the pallet floor, shelves on the tree and branch overhead to hold the solar shower. The framework of trees that formed a teepee for the potty looked strange without the blue tarp.

Living in the woods was the ultimate test of my womanhood. Not only did I pass the test, I now long for oneness with nature, the point of my existence for over three months. I used to walk to the water’s edge off and on throughout the evening to look at the night sky. I cannot define my motive; I was simply observing, respecting and following my instinct to continue seeking. Of course, I pondered the quintessential question... Why? I was thrilled the first time I witnessed the perfect reflection of the stars on the surface of the lake on a still night.

I am a Cancer (moonchild), and have always been greatly affected by the moon. Living outside reinforced my lunar bond. I watched the moon wax and wane and took it to heart. At some point during the summer, my reflections and inspirations were dependent on the moon. When I returned to the traditional world of a house with four walls and all the amenities, I had to work hard to overcome my addiction to the moon, and when that time seemingly arrived, I realized that it wasn’t an addiction at all, simply a part of me that needed acknowledgement.

Throughout the day and night, I walked out on the man-made dock to take inventory of the crayfish. They were abundant from scraps of food. I didn’t really want to bother them or pluck them from the water; I had a need to establish their presence once we had made each other’s acquaintance. I fed them and they looked up at me with red glowing eyes as they danced slowly around the mucky bottom.

I synchronized with the elements. I woke up at sunrise and assimilated each day. Venus offered guidance, and the drinking gourd spilled wisdom as it pointed north, reaffirming my proper position. I perceived my world as if looking through new eyes. In some ways, I was, but the truth is, I was seeing with “old eyes” as I had returned to my Abenaki roots.

My father’s family lived on the shores of Bitawbagok (Lake Champlain). Through my research and writing of my novel, “Etched in Granite,” I rediscovered the significance of my native essence and authentic nature. It was a relief and completion of the circle. Most of the small fragments within, once scattered about in disarray, had become part of the whole.

At first, I was overwhelmed with a mixed sense of fear and hopelessness, but in time, I learned to embrace my natural environment – weeks of rain, spiders, skunks and zero comforts of home. I celebrated the music of the loons, frogs, squirrels and all that shared the woods and lake. Now I am inside of four walls. The floor separates my feet from the earth and the roof keeps the stars and moon from my sight. I am conscious of the necessity to stay connected and I honor that.

We human beings, unconsciously, collectively, grieve the loss of our natural state of being and existence. We have drifted so far away from our original state and place within the breast of Our Mother that the trauma lays deep within our unconscious.

Yesterday, at Duncan Lake, my son and I went out in the canoe. It was a new season. The population of the crayfish around the dock had decreased, but I saw them further out. A loon swam across our path and two kingfishers did their nervous dance in the sky before us. The blueberries were gone, but we were met by a large bullfrog that was more golden than green. I kept my eye out for the otter; he did not appear. Instead, a somewhat trusting painted turtle stayed on the sunning rock long enough for us to greet him. When he splashed into the water, he stopped and looked up at us from beneath the surface, regretting his doubt yet thankful for his safety.

The canoe swished over bright white water lilies with deep yellow centers. I considered picking one, but like the daisies, I won’t. They belong in their blissful water garden on the other side of Otter Island.

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