Then a great peace came over me & I seemed to hear the pines and the wind and the rocky shores say to me, 'You, lover of the wild, are part of us.' – Sigurd Olson
Walking on Water
Photo by Julie Atkinson
Fifteen years ago today, I walked on water. There were no crowds on the shoreline, no tempest raging in the deep, no one but me to mark the occasion in my journal, but it was a miracle all the same.
Four miles away was a two-room cabin, nestled in the dense forest of fir and balsam. It had no running water, no electricity, no telephone or WiFi and it was exactly what I wanted for Christmas: A place where my family and I could celebrate with the chickadees and pine martens, the ravens and the wolves.
There are no roads to Lark Lake Cabin, so, in winter, the only options are on foot or by dogsled. The dogsled would come later, so the first day, we walked.
As the noise of unloading the car subsided, and the buzz of our host’s snow machine died away, a silence greater than anything I’d ever known enveloped us. This wasn’t just quiet, it was the Great Silence, the silence of a land so immense and so wild even the voice of humanity is insignificant.
We stepped onto the foot-thick ice of Ojibway Lake reverently, like worshipers going to mass. We walked in silence for a long time, drinking in the Wild, but as we reached the center of the lake, my sister-in-law Kindra drew a sharp breath and turned to me, eyes bright with emotion.