Little spider with eight long legs, so delicate, so skilled, and unsnappable. What are you made of? Sticks and stones and used up cell phones? Sugar and spice and leftover rice? Or some other brambular molecule that sticks to surfaces as if gravity were an after breath and my skin the surface of a planet.
She is gone, silently. I cannot find her now. But here is my tent, settled close to the beach on Drummond Island. Dromainn. “High ground” in Gaelic. Drummond. A Scottish name for “ridge.”
At the end of the summer, just after our girls went back to school, something drew me here, back to the land of islands, of watery channels of every kind, big and small, rushing through dunes overgrown with grasses. The northeastern most tip of Michigan, and the very beginning of more islands. Pretty soon, if I kept island hopping, the North Channel would greet me, then Georgian Bay. My eyes rest over the water of Pigeon Cove, just west of Rabbit Bay and south of Sturgeon Bay.
In front of me are several dots of tiny, treed islands. Like the back of a punch needled rug, multilayered textures of variegated green travel all the way to the edge of the water.
I long for a paddle board! To set out then set foot on them. Someday.
I am silent as a wish, but the lake is not.
The lake is rarely quiet. It rolls and rolls and rolls onto the shore. Sometimes, in the evening, I try to will it to slow down and rest, but it never stops moving, never stops coming. Water is like that. A power. A force. Wind is like that, too, and when you are sailing (I’m learning), both have a say, both are part of the equation. Only a sailor never asks the water or wind to be different. She trims her sails and guides the tiller accordingly, using what she is given to go where she needs, or wants, to go. Or choosing to wait until a better day. Fighting wind and water is rarely a good idea. I suppose burning oil overcomes their authority eventually, but only with great effort, and only for so long, not forever.
So, what am I waiting for here, silently, on the shore?
I am waiting for wild.
Where is the wild in me, and can I give her permission to come home, to set sail, to make her way across the water from the island I have banished her to? My teenage diaries are crammed with words about succeeding, overcoming obstacles with fierce singularty, lines and lines of disciplined hours with only one destination in mind, and she? She was left on the other side of the island, that undisciplined, carefree, irresponsible, in tune, wild and wonderful girl. Sometimes she would emerge in my moments, but with rules attached like ropes, so she turned to anger and screamed at me, and so I starved us both in fear. She waited. She is what I am made of. I knew we would need to meet again one day.
The winds are up my dear. Hold on. Do not fear. I am just learning to set sail.