Pilgrims’ Wash

     It wasn’t cold enough, for long enough, this year and the lake never froze. Winters past you could walk meters out onto the surface of the water to look back at the high cliffs shining in the winter sun. This year was the warmest winter in this area since they started keeping track of these things. The lake stayed fluid, a mobile expanse of leaded motion adorned by the wind in crystallized crowns of froth and spit.

     Open to the elements, the clay of the shoreline has shown the treacherous face of an amnesiac changing under the wind and waves of an incomplete season. Each day which dawns is unlike the day before and the sun of that day rests on sands that are unlike the sands of the day before. Yesterday’s shore is gone in the cold and the wind and the wave. Although today’s beach may pay homage to its lineage in mementos and relics, it wears a new face that will also fade with the passing of the hours and the tide.

     Several calendar days short of spring the wind is a slap in the face. Cast up by the waves, the waters of the grey lady bare her fallen pilgrims. The smell of cucumbers, a hint of decay hangs in the air. Pale olive, purple and iridescent blue gems litter the gravelly shore. A pirate’s treasure is laid open to the sky for all to see. The smelt are running on Lake Erie.

     Predestined, none escape. The frozen firmament that marks the boundaries of a preordained heaven never coalesced. Lost beyond time, a thread that was cut, now directionless in this unexpected reprieve, hosts of the misplaced have cast themselves upon the shore. Those of wing and fur who have over lingered or returned on a warm wind find a bloody eyed bounty, a banquet laid out on the sandy storm tossed shores of Erie.

     Ice hangs, built up in motion as the mercury dips with the tide and laves the bones of bowering havens. Driftwood limbs, fallen from the heights, riding the shifts and tilts of copper cliffs made unsure but still graceful at right angles to the earth’s axis, are bearded in crusted ice. Tresses of lake bottom vines, lengths of auburn mermaid plaits, fringe the banquet table. The arcs of empty orbs are sanguine, puddled with the reflected rays of a condemned sun drowning in the opaque mirror while the cries of the gulls echo overhead.


*This post was originally hosted on another blogging platform (MSN Space to MSN Live and finally WordPress). When the content was transferred the media files were lost. I’ve chosen to add new photos rather than delete the posts. I try to match any updated content to previously posted comments. Sometimes it works and sometimes it doesn’t so the comments can seem to be out of context but I don’t want to delete any of them as they are a part of my blogging history.

7 thoughts on “Pilgrims’ Wash

  1. Lovely, lovely, lovely (as always).  If my dog had a bigger attention span, I\’d get her to look at the fish so she could remember past trips to the shore and imagine the fun of rolling in such an stinky feast.
    How did you get this font?  It\’s beautiful and really complements your writing style…


  2. Sigh, as usual when I come here I am left stunned with the beautiful yet haunting images left swirling in my mind\’s eye.
    As per your comment, I am in complete agreement. Even here in blogland everything seems to be reflecting the desolate hopelessness of this lingering winter.


  3. Hey Lorna… I\’ve been super busy, so apologies for not having come around for a visit in a while.  I started a new job on Monday and there\’s a lot to do and learn. 🙂  I\’ll come back and do a proper catch up on all the beautiful posts as soon as I can.
    Stay well my dear.  Hope you have a great week!


  4. THat was very nice . I grew up near Erie and used to fish the smelt . It is amazing the routine they go through . Natives from Six Nations fish from Pottohawk and take barrels of them . Thanks for the memory .


  5. @Indigo
    I\’m sure your dog\’s imagined roll in the fish would be much more pleasant for the humans in residence than the reality of my dog\’s actual Smell-o-Rama roll…she had to have a bath when she got home and she was NOT A HAPPY GIRL!
    The font is Mono type Corsiva. I have around 2000 fonts but most of them are hard to read in an extended entry. I\’ve started to paste my finished entries into my Microsoft Word so I can change the fonts as the ones offered by Spaces are rather limited. If you right click copy the entry in its\’ new font in Word it retains the font when you post it on your space.
    I wonder if it\’s a natural evolution as everyone I visit seems to have been blogging for around the same amount of time (give or take a month) or if it is just the blah seasons.
    With your "eye" I really appreciate the positive feedback. Have you been to the bay lately or are you too busy?
    The beach is the best. I\’d live there if I could AND it wasn\’t eroding anywhere from an inch to a foot a year around here.
    No need for apologies Simon. I\’ve not been as diligent with my social duties as well. Life has a way of interfering with our pleasures doesn\’t it? I hope all is well with the new position and anything else that might come your way.
    Smelting is a huge part of the Canadian culture. I\’m surprised that Stompin Tom never got around to writing a song about it. ;P


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