It would be impossible to exhaustively expound on the subject of last weekend and it would be equally impossible to ignore it altogether as I have on this blog up to this point in the week. The unhappy medium is, of course, to give you a little taste without spending more time than is good for man writing it all out in one shot.
It was a cabin on a lake to which we, the youth of the Lynden OCRC, traversed for a night of doing nothing of anything in particular. A few guests and a bunch of food were enough to complete the setting on a human level. Then there are the other levels though.
This lake is small by most standards, but it hides many surprises. Looking out over its dark yet clear expanse and forested shores one might leave without a hint of all the concealed inlets and fen-like passages navigable only with the smallest of watercraft. The more obvious features are striking on their own merit. In one wing of the lake is a platform of logs floating on the surface, although anchored there by some old tree stumps still rooted to the bottom of the lakebed. In another wing stands a spectacle not easily forgotten. For anyone who sees the two ancient looking trees, stripped of all branches, pointing like twin gate posts toward the sky not more than 10 feet apart from each other, their thoughts usually run back in time to all the childhood stories about portals to other worlds! What's even better is the feeling you get as you row a boat through them and then imagine you are seeing a Narnian fawn upon the shore, a beaver calling from his home in the middle of the lake and perhaps, with a little peripheral vision, a tree can be seen to stretch its branches like arms before dozing off again.
The evening was made for countless memories. It had rained all week but stopped the night before the trip. When we went out in the rowboat at various times throughout the evening, the clear moonless sky and still air offered the perfect opportunity to row around in the darkness for hours, each person lost in their own imagination and only telling the stories fit for verbal renditions. There we were, looking up at the stars, noting this or that about our elementary knowledge of Astronomy, peering at the dark and the mysterious shoreline through the thin mist, and shining flashlights into the dark underworld over which we were smoothly gliding with each gentle oar stroke. So enthralling was the sense of surrealism, some of us couldn't be pulled off the lake until well after midnight.
A separate post could go on forever about the humor and insanity or downright freakiness of some moments. One such example was during our lake adventures. Myself and four girls (my sister Beka being one) were taking one of our first trips through the portal in the evening when Andrea's flashlight
beam caught a disturbing image in its harsh glare. The nervous tension was evident in her voice when she called our attention to the object of her unease.
"Um, guys...there's a man out there," she said in a low tone.
My first glance wanted to confirm the apparition of a man lying on his back on one of the floating logs, head hanging back off the end, with an elbow arched somewhat over the top. Bearing in mind that my crew would not appreciate the spooky appearance of a real man of dubious origin and status in this world on a log in the misty, moonless darkness, I firmly told myself and the others that it was nothing more than an odd shape on the top of a log.
(hmm...that arm looked like it moved)
"The reflection of the flashlight on the water makes it look like that," I ventured confidently, and I really was convinced I was right. Funny thing, then, that I should feel so queasy each time I looked back at "it."
actually really weird," I added after more reflection.
I'm not sure if anyone noticed Kristi with her hands pressed to her ears
, her eyes closed, and her head pressed to someone's side. By this time I was rowing the boat back to port. Unsettled as we were, I didn't want to place unflinching faith in the nerves of the others on board. Me being the only guy, I think I felt a certain duty to turn the boat’s head towards "safety" or at least where the others would feel the safest...
Again the beam shined on the log and the truth suddenly became clear to me: it wasn't a log at all. The other end of the "log" was now included in the picture and it was quite easy now to see it for what it was: the prow of the other row boat sticking up a little out of the water. It most certainly was
a man on the back end. About four of the other guys were there lying down in the boat, hoping to escape our detection long enough for them to prepare a surprise visit in the middle of the lake.
None of the girls were sorry to spoil their fun; but as long as our
fun wasn't spoiled by a midnight dip in the lake, I was fine and even a little thrilled by the spooky effect they had inadvertently administered.
And now I'm reminding myself of my own statement regarding the impossibility of finishing the complete and unabridged version of the weekend's saga in one post. Thus I'm led to conclude that I have written more than enough for one night.