Me, after a 1360 foot (415 meters) climb. A day that started at L’anse Bay, Michigan. That night, I had to endure the lowest temperature during my Great Lakes Awareness Ride, 14 degrees (-10C). I put every bit of fabric I had between the ground and me, yet I could not keep the heat from wicking into the ground. This produced an unsettled sleep. After that coldest morning, I felt the exact opposite on top of the lookout at Lake of The Clouds, I “discovered” a rock that fit my body like a half cocoon and the stone was warmed all day long with the strengthening sun of April. Although I had to melt three pans full of water to boiling, made from what snow remained at the pinnacle, the tranquility and union with Mother Earth was worth the effort.
The last five hundred yards of paved surface before the overlook, asphalt was ripping apart as it slid down off the steep slope. Climbers never retreat from the challenge of a hill, no matter how steep. This was my steepest climb ever. Those who hike there, know, it seems impossible, but by traversing the ribbon of asphalt repeatedly to just make a few feet of headway was made. At summit, I expired on the ground, unable to walk, twitching. A combination of thin air, exertion and thrill of conquering the incline led to exultation and union with place that guides my steps today.
Living as many do, at the cleft of two or more shoulders of land and a waterway dividing them, we have nearly all experienced the nearly infinite generational power of such places. Things happen at the confluence, the wetlands complex, the meeting of land and water in this intimate way.
Having come from the Fox River Valley, I know too well the power of Divine Feminine, at work both in land and water. In fact, my own home is on an eastern tributary, an estuary, with a land form that emulates a second cleft or peninsula of land within a doubly divided basin. The generative power of this area, clearly in evidence. The great Wolf River cascades down through a granite boulder strewn forest to our West and then abruptly turns East and creates pool lakes to our South, when the insistent, meandering Fox River intervenes. When the water finds the Niagara Escarpment, (yes, the same one that creates The Falls between the U. S. and Canada.) the water flows North to Green Bay, on Lake Michigan.
I lived most of my life in the cleft of the Fox River Valley. Getting to this awesome prominence a quarter mile higher, was a triumph for my male driving spirit. In my attainment, I was again reminded ever so cleverly of the Divine Feminine that lay below, the sacred lake, perched high above Superior. Serene, open.
That night I fell asleep to the amorous gyrations, and ecstatic cries of Beaver, thinking they were alone in their midnight revelry. Come to think of it again, after many a year, It perhaps presaged my native name. Intimate (farts) With Beaver. All creation, even the humble fart is expresses divinity. The warm, wet, creative process has been part of my life forever. I cannot remember a day before or since, when the masculine striving energy had been as strong as this day, yet the overwhelming presence of Great Mother’s Lakes fed me, taught me good from bad and nurtured every one of my cells with vigor and power.
This night, the Milky Way spread before me like a mohair cloth strewn with golden dust,
Lying on the East end of a massive bowl.
I made the many million year old stone my consort and together our spirits beat as one. Tingles of that night inform my relationship with the planet. Today, just as surely as my children will command my attention, love and respect, so too will this place on the globe, the entire Great Lakes Basin will remain sacred to me. I have been forever changed into a water bearer, synchronized with the lifeblood of our landscape. Speaking a language between the hips, lips and spits of a parting land.