Place Where You Live:

Fawn Lake, Wisconsin

The evening’s warmth pulled me here. The moon paints a fine, white line along the wedge-like edge of a massive cloud bank advancing southward out of Canadian sky. I imagine that white edge somewhere over Lake Superior, near the south shore, connecting the dots below: Port Wing, Herbster, Cornucopia, Red Cliff.

My canoe’s bow swings like a compass needle, more errant, less nimble, but eventually pointing faithfully at Polaris, testimony to the almost imperceptible press of air from the south.

I lay nearly prone, the arch of my back and spread between my shoulder blades fitting neatly on top the triangular patch of aluminum that connects the gunnels near the stern. My rear end rests on the hard metal seat and my legs stretch out reaching toward the bow. I am adrift.

The moon, still low, face crossed by tamarack and spruce branches, hangs like a too bright Chinese lantern. Fawn Lake is still. Nothing pimples its surface. Along the southwest shore, the moonlight piles up against tree trunks and pine boughs. Imagination turns maple branches into antlers, and a big rock into a gigantic tortoise.

I’ve never canoed before in December. Remarkable here on this glacier carved lake ringed by northern larch and black spruce. Remarkable here closer to the North Pole than the equator. Worth writing about.

And the moon moves slowly upward, and the clouds slowly south, as I drift slowly home.