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The Beaten Path

Story ID:6149
Written by:Richard Laurent. Provencher (bio, contact, other stories)
Story type:In The Spotlight
Location:Truro, Nova Scotia Canada
Person:Richard L. Provencher
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The Beaten Path

When the challenges of life threaten to overwhelm me I tent out on a three-acre island in Economy Lake. A quarter mile from the mainland it appears more like an explosion of rock lined with trees. It’s also a sanctuary for birds, small animals and a place of respite for me.

When twilight creeps forward, I draw strength from an ancient song.

Each evening, wind descends with an eerie whistle. It’s a restless spirit, yet soothing. Pine needles toss around my campsite. Overhead is a movement of wings. Branches groan quietly as a feathery weight settles in the security of a red pine.

I am able to absorb the majesty of this little piece of earth.

Nighttime is like a cloaking blanket, sun's flickering glow signals daytime's farewell. A hint of red is my goodnight kiss. Trees are picturesque as statuettes aside the shore. Waves stir with a soothing effect on my spirit. Their movement is numerous as stars in the sky.

There is a trembling in the air when every sound is halted. A familiar call interrupts the chilly night air. "AAH-OOH-AAH-OOH-AAH" is released from a loon. His song claims the island as his own. Each chord is a hurrying step into the starry sky.

Trees tremble. Limbs crackle and I feel a rebirth from this nighttime energy. It’s like living in a different world. Fireflies flicker in patterns, creating an atmosphere of friendliness. Clouds linger in lazy swirls; a path of white created by the moon. Its flashlight beam provides a direct link to my tent site.

It joins together with lake, rock, trees and earth to create a chain of fellowship.

Stars shelter the island's 'potpourri' of emotion. Their diamond-like sprinkling is a gift. It seems to reach out from the ‘milky way’ to the very core of the island.

The night rises and falls as each new wonder manifests itself.

Time is measured in the softness of the moss. Ferns sweep forward in one last leafy dance.
Enlightenment creeps in from the east as the blanket of night is slowly raised. A rhythm of fur and feather is slowly abated.

The appearance of morning sun signals sleep.

A forest and its creatures obey.

So do I, as dreams carry on throughout the morning. Resting in the next few hours is uninterrupted. Refreshed, I return to the “hustle and bustle” of our plastic world.

© Richard L. Provencher