Point Pelee Padmasana

Early summer morning rises over the southernmost point of the Canadian mainland. It won’t linger long as somewhere to the west, at the same latitude, California waits for that very blush of rose. Point Pelee stretches out into the grey waters of Lake Erie. The Carolinian woodlands, home to over 300 bird species, run back to rest in the soft currents of marshland. A boardwalk winds through the cattails and the swallows gossip and fight under the observation tower taking turns heading out over the marsh to hunt for a bite to eat. A splash of water and ripples spread out in concentric rings as a bass takes to the air for its repast. Brilliant jewels propelled by the delicate filament of their wings flash in the early morning light as squadrons of dragon and damsel flies lead the way out onto the wooden path.

The water and the sky are full of comings and goings as the denizens of the marsh go about their business. Even though the air is full of sound, underneath it all, there is a weight and a silence that is the real voice of the marsh. The earliest recognized passage of man through this area is AD 600 so we know that it is at least several thousand years old. In the early morning light it isn’t hard to believe that it might be as old as the whole world itself.

The weather beaten ribbon of boardwalk demarks the green, twisting and turning through the sedge that towers overhead. Each curve is a blind step into the unknown. Breasting a slight incline I almost trip over a man sitting just on the other side in the hollow of the decline. Bare-chested, tan and slender, he is seated on the right side of the boardwalk in the classic lotus position. Beside him on the boardwalk lays an open notebook, the written worlds inspired by the morning and his meditation dark on the bleached white page. His voice is a soft grey green, a whisper like the waters of the marsh lapping the wood beneath him. The boardwalk rises up and curls away as I leave him behind to carry on interpreting the weight and silence of the water soaked land and endless blue sky. 

The blade of a paddle breaks the water as a kayak heads out through the channel towards the deeper waters of Lake Erie. The swallows chatter on and a heron wings its way out over the expanse of rushes and water.

 

 

Symphony

The Guelder Rose is green now in the final month of summer. The wind has swept up the blossoms and scattered them away like delicate flakes of summer snow. There beneath the Guelder’s green boughs, a small form lays quiet and still. Sodden and dark from the morning rain, the first hint of colour is muddied on the breast. The head reclines, one eye hidden, the other open to the sky. The gelid orb has frosted over a pale imitation of a ripening blueberry and a sudden glint of movement creates a startling illusion of life. Closer inspection reveals an ant making its way along the edge of the convex curve of that soft jewel.

The wind rustles the trees mimicking the patter of rain as the leaves brush against each other in the dark. The moonlight spreads across the night sky rippling the dark like sunlight on water. It leaks through the depths to find the hidden world below. The clouds are islands floating free overhead, the bottoms dark and the tops awash in platinum halos.

The rain and the insects have done their work, emptying out the fallen. The blueberry frost has been replaced by the vacuum of a blank socket stark against the white of bone. The delicate spine articulates a gentle curve of ivory jewels cradled in the soft bower of discarded feathers.

The terns glide across the surface and then hang over the water watching the waves below. Hurtling down they disappear beneath the green and then rise up, orange beaks full of flashing opalescent scales. A rust and green length of dead carp kisses the shore. The round hollow above the gill fills with the wash and weeps Erie’s tears as clasped in her bosom it gently rocks to an eternal sleep. Scatterings of diamond fossils, frozen in stone, line the path between here and there.

The waves hurry on towards the shore, cresting above the plane animating the grey expanse. Breaking on the rim, they breathe, expand and begin anew. Sinking into the sand, flowing back into the rhythm, forward under the cliff side and up into the air they change yet remain the same.