9-4 Magic Between the Lakes, caged spirits, skinny dipping
Land Between the Lakes, Kentucky
This morning drinking my coffee and soaking in beauty all around I detect a long, solitary filament of cobweb trailing in the breeze.
I wonder why there, on the awning pole of all places? And what is its purpose in that moment in the grand scheme of nature’s machinations?
Will a butterfly in Costa Rica snare itself in a spider web down there if I brush away this stray thread?
Best to leave it alone, methinks.
Yesterday evening my spidey sense nudged:
But I was going to go when the sun sets like I usually do?
When it summons, gotta listen, right?
So I go, pushing the kayak into the water, paddling wherever she takes me.
I go into the coves most empty of Labor Day boaters, find a creek and glide up it as far as I can and see deer drinking from it. They look up and ignore me since all is quiet - no motor grinding away.
Floating in the shallows I feel as if I’m one of them, being so close. Then the kayak brushes a submerged rock and the deer melt into woods in a leaping bound.
Such amazing grace.
I turn and paddle around to another cove. So many birds - white egrets, blue herons, hawks and king fishers. A taste of Florida again.
Then another cove, more remote. I come across a pair of kayakers camped on the pebbly beach, campfire dancing.
What a most perfect camping spot! I say as I slow by.
Oh yes! No more dealing with loud campers and music going all night she exclaims, grinning.
Oh! I’m deaf so that stuff doesn’t bother me, I say.
I wish ’em happy camping and continue into the cove.
This gliding through still waters is pure meditation, slicing through thoughts.
I round a bend and lo! I’m startled at a most unexpected sight of two big otters munching a shared fish on the shore. They too, are startled at someone intruding this far.
Yet dinner seems more important so they carry on with a wary eye on me.
I turn and paddle away to leave them in peace. By now the sun has set, pink curtains falling into place. Time to head back to camp.
Back in open waters I surf through waves from fast and big boats afar, riding a fun roller coaster. I spot huge Copi (Asian Carp) cresting the surface nearby. At that size they almost look like dolphins and surprise me.
Just as I reach calmer waters near camp, a magnificent bald eagle soars over, disappearing into tree tops ahead. Peace brother, I gesture.
As I scrunch onto my campsite’s beach, a watery snake ziggles onto shore, headed home just as I am.
Full stop and deep exhale, I thank my spidey sense and Mother Nature for immersion into a magical land of life and beauty.
Took a trip to the Woodlands Nature Center in Land Between the Lakes to see their repertoire of widlife - bobcat, wolf, coyotes, deer and several of the winged kind.
Upon entering and seeing cages I abruptly remember why I avoid these sort of places and zoos, etc.
The facility itself was very well kept and entirely shaded in the woods. The animals healthy and well-fed. The rangers kind and informative. All in all, a very nice place.
What deflated me was seeing these beautiful creatures in cages as their home. And majestic birds leashed to branches so they couldn’t fly away.
The red wolf mindlessly plodding around the perimeter fence, the coyote hiding in her little roofed doghouse, owls staring off in space and a pair of bald eagles with a net as their sky, unable to soar with their souls.
They all may be healthy but their spirits seem dulled and I feel it.
This is why I can’t visit these places as a free spirit seeing other free spirits trapped within.
Granted, some of these are rescued animals. If they are rehabbed and released, wonderful. To save and breed those endangered? Understood.
Otherwise to keep their souls bound within seems contrary to the spiritual nature of these creatures and Mother Nature herself.
It is human nature to impose our values upon wild creatures and to assume they’d want to live by our ways.
Would you rather be free to die or be jailed to live?
That nasty smell in the Cumberland has slunk away on this cooler evening — seems it’s the heat that brings it out?
Whether the cause, I took a rare opportunity to strip nekkid and wade slowly into the river for a soothing bath (with natural and biodegradable soap, of course).
Scrubbing done, I loitered longer in her coolness, watching ripples glistening in moonlight and twinkles from above.
I must say there is nothing more freeing than a naked tryst with Mother Nature.
That fondness I have for skinny dipping? It began when I was just a few years old and I’d sneak over to the Fain’s swimming pool next door for a quick naked swim when I was supposed to be in bed.
I still remember how amazing it felt as a child to swim in the night in bare skin, feeling one with all that is. And getting away with it.
That trend continued into my teens when I and friends would quietly sneak into random folks pools in the wee hours of the night.
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