Monday, July 13, 2015

Camping on Horicon Island on Lake George

Horicon 2015 (Photo by Gandalf)
What sticks out in my mind: Gandalf saying during the ascent of Black Mountain that it’s always nice to see people you care about enjoying good marriages re: Blondie and me. Joie smiling down at me from the boat as I put on my skis. Canoeing along the mountain shore past a waterfall. Sitting on the front of the speedboat with Kit while she is between times—between high school and college. Blondie’s eyes filled with freedom, reflecting a merging with the lake, a lake he’d heard about for our first decade together but never seen. The island, Horicon, which was perfect for us, perfect for Blondie’s first time. It was a single site island, which meant we had the whole thing to ourselves. We described it as “meandering.” It was long and skinny with one point that ended in a pine-needle-framed view and one point that touched a mini conjoining island. There were several swimming rocks but one, facing the Western side of the lake, was favored. One night at sunset, we all sat on another rock that faced the Western mountain range, and peered at the top of the mountains where we could see the tiny distinctions in the trees. I stared at the little fish, who were the size of the apostrophe symbol on my keyboard, flitting around in a small pool in the crack of the boulder upon which we sat. A few nights, we remarked upon the moon, which was mostly full. It often hung out near the top of Black Mountain, and we’d stand on the dock and stare up at it. The mountain stood before us peacefully, with the strength of years of existence. Gandalf noted during a boat ride how strange it is to think of how long the lake has been here.

My time at the lake was bookmarked by visits with close ones. I glided into it in Narwhal’s presence the week before, and I extended it by taking Kit home with me for a visit after the lake. Joie and Gandalf came to our neck of the woods at the end of the Kit visit to finish selling Ziva’s house, and all three left this weekend.

There was a moment early on our hike up Black Mountain when we heard a rattle, and Gandalf realized that it was a rattlesnake. Black and fat, it had the energy and youthful look of a teenage snake. We stopped for a moment and decided to give it a wide berth, and I felt no fear because I was thinking of J. Allen Boone’s Kinship with All Life. I felt happy, almost riotous with joy, and peaceful, like everything in the universe was okay and always would be.

The giants of the sky, the masters of the boat, Blondie and Gandalf

Joie, Kit, Blondie, and me (Photo by Gandalf)

Kit between times
When you were young you were the king of carrot flowers
And how you built a tower tumbling through the trees
In holy rattlesnakes that fell all around your feet