To someone from the unglaciated Appalachians, more than the young, rugged mountains it’s the abundance of natural lakes and ponds that seems exotic, even without a glimpse of the elusive moose whose dark bulk we kept seeing in every lakeside spruce and drowned stump.
Even the creeks looked different, wrinkling over such different rocks.
They seemed so impetuous, compared to the slow calm waters of a Pennsylvania trout stream older than the hills it flows through.
Waterfalls were everywhere, as you’d expect in mountains that are still being born. I admired the shining staircases they made, perfect in their jumbled lack of uniformity.
We who are mostly salt water might at least aspire to an anadromous return. For me, the north woods with its bare granite outcroppings and abundant lakes conjures up an idyllic time and place I barely remember, having moved to Pennsylvania from our lakeside farm in central Maine when I was five. But I imprinted deeply on forests like these. My mother has said that as a small child, being taken into the forest was the one thing guaranteed to stop my otherwise nearly incessant crying.
More than once last week I thought of the Chinese proverb, “Humans seek out high places; waters seek the low.” I watched clouds form beneath my feet.
Dave Bonta (bio) crowd-sources his problems by following his gut, which he shares with 100 trillion of his closest microbial friends — a close-knit, symbiotic community comprising several thousand species of bacteria, fungi, and protozoa. In a similarly collaborative fashion, all of Dave’s writing is available for reuse and creative remix under a Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 3.0 United States License. For attribution in printed material, his name (Dave Bonta) will suffice, but for web use, please link back to the original. Contact him for permission to waive the “share alike” provision (e.g. for use in a conventionally copyrighted work).