Monday, May 27, 2013

Lake Ripley, Simple Summer Times


Luke 8:22[ Wind and Wave Obey Jesus ] Now it happened, on a certain day, that He got into a boat with His disciples. And He said to them, “Let us cross over to the other side of the lake.” And they launched out.

I was thumbing through a notebook of poetry I had written. I found a poem entitled Wilderness I.

Cool fields on a summer day,
Crystal lake with wooded bay
Solitude with beauty blessed
That's my idea of wilderness.

Those simple rhyming couplets took me back to my first time at Lake Ripley.

Drifting in the canoe in the middle of the boomerang shaped lake, I could see my grandparent's cabin protruding on the point. It was small and white safely nestled against dense, green pines. 

The clear bluish water lapped against the side of the canoe as I gazed lazily around the lake. Peacefulness, quietness, restfulness, Peacefulness, quietness, restfulness, each wave seemed to impress upon me more than the one before it.

Directly across from the snuggled cabin were two dirt roads. They led almost straight up a hill and seemed to go into the sky. They appeared too steep for a car to descend, so what was the purpose? They cut the lake from the world and made it mine.

A great splash on the other end of the boomerang shaped lake caused me to turn just in time to see two deer. The tawny velvety bodies streaking back and forth. They played in the water, unaware that I was watching them. The shore they were on was the only one on the lake not thick with trees. It was at the foot of a steeply sloping grassy hill. At the top of the hill was the sky in its cool, blue splendor.

Peeking out from under the cottony clouds was the warm, penetrating sun which made my eyes water as it glinted on the lake's liquid surface. 

At the opposite end of the lake was a great, sandy beach. There were a few old green shacks barely visible in the pines above the beach. The shacks and several half sunken row boats were all that remained of the boys' camp which once made the shores of Lake Ripley lively with excitement, I was told.


They were gone and I was the only one left, alone and at peace in this seemingly forgotten place of wilderness.


(C) Marijo Phelps all rights reserved.

1 comment:

tainterturtles said...

Hey cousin, I still manage to go visit Lake Ripley every other year. Grandpa & grandma's cabin is no longer there...replaced with a brand new summer home! Lake Ripley is only about 80 miles north of my house.

Glad to know you still have memories of the old lake cabin.