The day out on the island was hot & muggy. Time was spent meeting new scouters & sharing our experiences & woodland skills. Meals were shared as were many stories. A good time was had by all & I think we all walked away with new knowledge.
But as the sun began to lower itself in the sky. My companions all left – one boatload at a time. Until I was left alone with my thoughts & my own woodland lore. My first task was to recce a spot to sleep for the night. Upon studying the map of the island that hangs in the cabin, I picked an area on the north shore – near what is referred to as “Skinny Dip Beach” (because Scouts of old would skinny dip at this spot). And so, I set forth along the trail – watching for poison ivy which riddles some spots on the island – seeking out a spot to bed down for the night. Once selecting a spot with a view of the lake, I returned to the cabin & hiked my gear in. Then I setup my camp, enjoying the solitude & the faith I have in my own skill.
The night was still hot – for as I sat next to my small fire I felt as if I was sitting in a sauna. As I ate my supper, I contemplated the beauty & serenity that surrounded me. The sun was setting, as too was the crescent moon. The silver sickle following in the path of the golden disc… a potent image.
The night was quiet. The lake was calm. Peace, paradise & serenity filled me. A perfect moment.
The next morning the weather turned. The winds blew strong from the south & with it came cooler & wetter air. The rain fell, soaking my tent. It wasn’t much fun striking camp – but something you get used to if you’ve ever spent a lot of time outdoors. I made it back to the cabin & began to plan my solo canoe trip back to the mainland. Listening to the weather on the emergency weather radio in the cabin, I watched through the window as the rain slowed & then stopped. A glimmer of sun poked through the clouds for a moment – an omen foretelling me of my only opportunity to cross the lake without rain.
As quick as I could, I loaded up the canoe & paddled for shore. The wind was with me as I left the dock next to the cabin. However, as I rounded the north point of the island – passing my campsite from the night before – I turned into the wind. I made short sprints from island to island – using the granite shores that rise up out of the water as a windbreak. At last, I reached the landing, unloaded my gear – put the canoe in its berth – & returned home.
The adventure, the moment, now in the past.
Tell me about your own adventures – either in the wild or any other journeys of solitude you might have undertaken. What did you learn about the world & about yourself? Please leave me a comment below.
Until next time…