Wednesday, April 16, 2008
My records from 2007 indicate that the ice went out on Oake Lake here in central Minnesota on March 28th. Here it is April 16th, 2008 and we still have a thin layer of ice in the middle of the lake. It began receding from the shore over a week ago. A reversal of global warming? Time will tell.
With our new adventure at Gunflint Lodge this past winter, I didn't make it out on Oake Lake with the dogs. It seems I will likely not see the lake in front of my house by dog team for the next several years. The trade-off is worth it. Northern Minnesota is where we belong in the winter. Its refreshing to my soul to leave the hustle and bustle of a busy life in the country just west of a major city to go for several months, to a place where I forget what day it is. Where being outside 8 hours a day is the norm and when I do come inside, the physical activity from a day with the sled dogs on the trail catches up with me quickly and I fall asleep instantly upon touching my head to the pillow.
Arriving back to Oake Lake two weeks ago, I have tried to carry those feelings of serenity, peacefulness and calmness along with me; those feelings that I came to expect "up north". Being centered and grounded and really being present became such easy and second nature tasks. Appreciating the little things around me at every moment was just the way it was; a tree branch covered in snow, a snowflake, the daily greeting of a red squirrel, the vast view of the Canadian horizon.
Here at Oake Lake, the traffic has become horrendous, people are flitting back and forth and appear to be in a hurry to somewhere pretty darn important, very few smiles are seen on those wax-like faces and the pressure is on to make money to keep the sled dogs and their owner fed and afloat for the next three seasons before we head back "up north". Am I complaining? Maybe. But generally we all make our choices and I have made mine. I figure it will be an opportunity for growth. Learn how to keep those "up north" feelings here in central Minnesota until there comes a time, when there is a well though-out plan in place, to make a different choice.