Saturday, September 12, 2009

Looking Up - Happy time in Northern MN

Our feet crunched the moist, soggy grass while the rough edges of fallen sticks grabbed our ankles. The Northern Minnesota electronic-free cabin made us forget about cell phones and TVs. Up here in the north woods, the happy times are created the “old fashioned way.”

My daughter and her friends sat in the middle of the lake on a paddleboat. My son Jake and his friend joined me in the SS Ash Lake. The new camouflage green canoe invited us to take our inaugural ride. The boys wobbled aboard as it sat uneven half on shore, half on water. It nearly capsized three times before we set sail. I crawled in last and shoved us out to sea. As Jake witnessed my farm girl strength, his voice rang out “go mom, go. Go mom, go.”

When our vessel finally cleared the shore-lining four foot reeds I looked up. The grey continuous storm clouds that plagued us all day were finally breaking. In their place appeared soft, rolling-into-themselves, white inspiration. As the sun set in the west it cast streams and beams of fire red wonder upon the clouds. Their lava-bright brilliance stopped my heart. I embraced the moment – knowing I had only a moment – to ask the boys to stop paddling, stop babbling, and look up. They put their paddles down, closed their busy 9 year old mouths and absorbed the glory of the sight. We all faced west, Ash Lake’s healing water was calm and crisp below us. The cabin stood tall to our right. The reeds stood at attention in front. The water calmly cradled our hull. Only the sound of a distant train whistle penetrated the silence. Then, as unexpectedly as the moment appeared, my son stated, "Okay Mom, happy time is over. Keep it movin.”

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