Travel-logging: in the Lake of the Woods

The cabin is in constant adjustment. With every visit, I am reminded of humanity’s weakness for the excess. Modern play-things are purchased to keep our adrenaline peaked, porcelain toilets multiply and new corridors are added to accommodate the cabin’s growing fan base. This structure exudes charisma and wealth; the owners have diligently fashioned a habitat that reflects its surrounding beauty. I opt for the outdoors since the bulk of my presence is spent contained under a roof and my existence is lived with eyes at half mass; I am in a constant quest for stimulation.

Once the glow from the horizon coaxes me outside, I find myself aloof in a sea of exotic conversations between animals and nature. Blood pumps to my limbs, forcing me to the canoe perched at the dock’s end. Instinctively, I lower one hand into the tranquil lake; summer hangs prominent yet the water is cool and speaks the temperature of previous seasons.

As my canoe and I embark on the boundless distance, I notice the sky has morphed from coral to indigo and I am the only human to disturb the lake. Stoic tree trunks loom dense and heavy with stories and their branches extend towards me like eager hands. I notice picnic benches and lawn chairs are hurdled and erect in every crevice as an attempt to visually consume nature. Here we defy the barriers of the domestic and the wild, here we swallow our identities and force time to stand still.

The sky sheds any remaining light as I plunge deeper into the lake’s ambiguity. Loons serenade my strokes while other animals leer from the shoreline, tossing me demands I cannot comprehend. I draw in both my oars and breath to feel small and insignificant. I feel no burdens, yet I am juxtaposed with sensing a loss-of-self, both grounded and mindful. A slight shiver occupies my spine as my eyelids widen with the present. Stagnant in my canoe, I cannot ignore that this moment is the flawless blend of human and nature; without this man-made creation, I would never experience this euphoria. Quest complete.