Beauty & Function

I returned to my room and grabbed my backpack. I tucked my novel into the front pocket and decided I would read on the the fishing dock. I headed to the boat house and turned the corner to head down the path towards the docks when the bright red color of the war canoe caught my eye. Hard to miss it. It was a ginormous Chinook style canoe. I stopped, back tracked and padded across the boat house dock over to it to examine it more closely. It was laying on its side, propped up by it’s tall bow and stern. I put my backpack down, got to my knees and brushed my hand across the wide and flat hull. I leaned over to gaze at the ribs and gunnel. It was made with a rich, gleaming varnished red cedar. I let out a low whistle. This boat was a piece of art! A piece of art that had its work cut out for it, carrying a group of rambunctious children safely over to Little Indian Island. I was definitely going to need to see the campers take off!

I grabbed my backpack and headed along the cool dirt path to the fishing dock. When I stepped out from the trees, a light wind brushed against me and lazy waves lapped against the dock. It looked like a perfectly peaceful morning to read on the dock. A peaceful morning at camp…I had to take advantage, as who knew how long that would last?!

I dropped my backpack at the far end of the dock and then went to reach into the wooden supply box to pull out the folding chair. As I did so I caught sight of a good two inch sized dock spider who had frozen, I suppose, hoping I hadn’t seen it. It looked like it was guarding a web, highlighted with delicate morning dew, that spanned from the light post to the dock. I noticed a tiny silky egg sac cradled in her fangs. I stopped for a moment. And then I involuntarily shuddered, imaging that egg sac breaking open and all the baby spiders emerging. I pulled the chair out of the box and the dock spider quickly disappeared below the decking.

I propped my chair up, pulled my book out, sat down and kicked my feet out. I pulled the bookmark out and began reading. Reading! What a delight! Ha!

It was not long before I heard voices approaching on the water. The sailing class had unfurled their sails but there didn’t seem to be enough wind.

“God provides the wind, but you must raise your sails!” I heard someone shouting from afar.

“Dude! We got ’em raised, but God didn’t provide much of a wind today,” a voice retorted and laughter followed. I had to agree as I watched the colorful rainbow sails sadly flutter and then droop.

“Fire up the engine, mate!” Chuckles. Then the sound of a couple of campers making blowing sounds as they tried to fill the sails. More laughter.

I watched over the top of my book, propped on my thighs, as the boys eventually gave up. The sailboat lazily bobbed on the water. The sailors relaxed as the boat drifted.

I took a long, slow look around myself, taking in the undulating water, the cool green forest, the sterling spiderweb and the listless sailboat. I inhaled in a deep breath of the fresh air, smiled, and went back to reading my book.

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