I am freshly back from the Boundary Waters Canoe Area in Minnesota.
I was part of a group of nine women from the church who planned and packed and set out on a woman-powered adventure.
I’ve never gone in this early in the summer. It was different, as in cold. We were a layered crew, humbled by the basics of keeping warm and dry. It rained. We had one day without rain but the others kept us aware of the need to stay dry.
We were ambitious, planning a route that included a 169 rod portage,a 90 rod portage and two smaller portages as well as river and lake paddling. We figured that if we didn’t have the energy to push to our goal, we could rest for a night on one of the two lakes between. We forgot, though, that a major burn had gone through the fall before and the two lakes that might have given us rest were eerie charcoal.
So push on we did. Going there was hard. We figured that coming back might be a bit easier. We were wrong. On the day we broke camp the rain poured down. Before we made it off the first lake we were soaked and shivering. I was grateful for the portages, because they allowed our bodies to pump some warmth through our systems.
And then there was the wind. We paddled back into white caps and cross winds that prompted deep digging for what felt like hours of paddling.
At the end of the last long portage, feeling relieved with only two short ones to polish off, I landed in a full body (complete with pack on my back) sprawl in the water. It was thankfully a move witnessed by only one of my paddling sisters. She was good enough to help me get the darn pack off my back while I was pinned on my hands and knees by exhaustion and a great good laugh.
We made it out.
And I am now home where water runs from taps and heat is more than available but home is a funny thing.
While sitting on a rock watching may flies hatch in the dusk, I was home.
In the cocoon of a tent sharing heart and laughs, I was home.
In the whip of wind and power of white caps, I was home.
The moveable temple of at-oneness calls me home.