Look Homeward, Angel: Lake of the Woods County, August, 2012
There is nothing like sailing along the Bog road, windows down, iced latte within reach, listening to the Grateful Dead, to make you feel free, free, free.
Unless it’s walking in the sand from Graceton Beach to Zippel Bay and wading into Lake of the Woods for a swim and a walk on the endless sandbars that make you believe you could walk, toes in the wet sand, warm water lapping your knees, all the way to Canada.
Or eating walleye outside at Ballard’s Resort, with fresh tartar sauce, to the music of the seagulls coming in with the boats returning from a day of fishing.
Attending a training for people opposed to the amendment that wants to make the Minnesota Constitution dictate that you have to be hetero to get married and having the room packed with gay and straight Baudette residents, including your high school typing teacher and at least one minIster.
Seeing the night sky clotted with stars, so many it seems they will fall to earth and perch in the grass.
Admiring the insanely gorgeous white pine growing out of your mother’s ashes, surrounded by tokens of love: pearly clamshells and heart-shaped rocks from the nearby beach; columbine, lilies—and a high fence to keep out the deer who love the soft green needles as much as she did, except in a different way.
Sitting in the Smiling Moon Cafe, mesmerized by all the cool things on the high walls that stretch up to the white, patterned tin ceiling, especially this, written in a circle in dark letters on yellowed newsprint:
Blackbird singing in the dead of night, take these broken wings and learn to fly, all your life, you were only waiting for this moment to arrive.