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June 20, 2022

Up North

By Mark W. Swarthout

The small leaves began to rustle at the top of their high perch.
The quaking of the small green leaves slowly grows to a roar.
A small sail of needle tufts gently sways the tall mast of pine.
And then down very low, hugging the earth, a breeze begins to blow.
The welcome movement interrupts the smothering stillness of heat.
My sweat disappears unnoticed, like the assistant in a magic show.

The quiet stillness of the lake reflects the clear blue sky overhead.
The solitude of the water-bottomed bowl is broken by a lonely loon's cry
The buzz of the single motor boat annoys like a distant mosquito.
The wake creates washboard ripples across the surface of the lake.
The bobbing maroon sails of the boat counterpoint the ripples.
A flashing paddle documents the presence of a canoe in the shadows.

The green horizon is unevenly defined by the far tree tops.
My attention is attracted to the flashing of a pair of strobe lights.
The thin metal needle of a distant tower points to the sky.
It disturbs me, this tiny intrusion, this interruption of nature.
Unlike the roar of a chainsaw in the distance, it bothers me.
The acrid smell of smoke from burnt out fires seems to belong.

Despite these minor annoyances, it is a peaceful place.

Article © Mark W. Swarthout. All rights reserved.
Published on 2006-10-16
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