The Trip
by Jim Butler

As I pulled into the crushed stone parking lot I say quietly to myself "This early morning drive unveiled the most pastel sunrise that I had ever seen." Slowly opening the door of the van I walked to the south shore of the Lake, Lake Ontario. Now, desperately needing to take this all in after a hectic week at work, I closed my eyes and felt the lakes breeze and tilting my head back slightly I caught the warmth of the suns rays cascading on my face. Ah! The fresh morning air and the clear day would prove to be something only found far away from the bustling city. With my eyes still shut I think "funny how just the sight of the old wood canoe conjures up thoughts of great adventure long before the craft is portaged, long before the paddle is dipped into the water." Trying to remember this moment for just a little while longer I opened my eyes slowly. With great care I cradled this old craft from its resting place, the roof of my van. While I gently slipped the "Ole Girl" into this Great Lake I listened to the rhythmic clap of the water against the wood and canvas as if quietly drumming the arrival of times past to the memories still alive.

Paddling along I find myself reminiscing my boyhood adventures, watching turtles sunning and the Fishing trips with my dad. Under every overhanging tree and branch would be pirates waiting. Sounds and sights of years long past I still vividly remember and are alive in this old canoe.

My head begins to clear a bit now. As I glimpse my surroundings I see things do look a bit different, in fact quite a bit different from even just a little while ago. My mind had played a beautiful prank on me for I was actually paddling on Carniege Lake in Princeton NJ.

Am I angry at this joke that I played on myself or disappointed that this placid adventure in my mind has ended? No, ? not at all. In fact I believe I saw pirates waiting in that cove just over there around the bend under that overhang!

Today with my eyes wide open a new adventure is just beginning.

Jim Butler

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