For over 10 years, I have been journeying back in to Saint Regis Pond in the Adirondack Mountains in New York. Because of “busy-ness,” my husband and I did not get there last year at all. This past weekend, with son with us, we trekked our way back into the pond once again.
It is grueling. One packs all their gear into a non-motorized boat (canoe or kayak) and then paddles across Little Lake Clear. After unpacking on the far shore, all that gear (and the boat) have to be carried on foot about one mile until you reach the bog that opens up into Saint Regis Pond. After avoiding tumbling gear, person and boat into the black-ish, oozing-with-life-waters off of a narrow foot dock tilting at a solid 20-degree pitch, you then launch through a winding marsh into Saint Regis Pond.
Two years’ absence is too long. I cannot describe what it is like adequately, all I can do is provide snapshots, feelings, and observations.
This is a place of silence. Deep silence. A silence so powerful, it is a visceral pressure you can feel in your eardrums. The silence is deafening.
This is a place of life, uninterrupted. Uninterrupted by Man, specifically.
Very few have been there (relatively speaking) and almost all hold it with reverence and tread lightly, adhering to the “carry in-carry out” mantra. Nothing is disturbed by humans. There is an energetic permeation of life doing its living and we are there merely to witness life rolling on.
Loons occasionally dot the water, and, if you are lucky, they frolic and play before they dive. In the deepest part of the night, you can hear loons and owls (and small critters, nothing large for me ever, thankfully) calling out. The calls echo across lake to lake to lake and seem to go on forever.
The land is buzzing. It is so alive in every aspect. The forest vegetation feels so ancient. It all just goes on and on…moss and lichen carpet the forest floor. Sparkly spider webs dance on every tree in the morning sunlight. Eons of layers of leaves have made the ground spongy to the step. Fish jump. Turtles and snakes sun themselves. Duck families hug the shorelines. Geese honk and flap across the mirror-like waters in early morning, splashing and playing as they lift into eventual flight.
Here, one can tap into the power and purity of Mother Earth. One can commune with life as it unfolds in its natural rhythms. There is no interference, no disturbance. You observe, then you become part of it.
One can feel how this ecosystem rolls on and on and on… white, frozen winters… fragrant, bursting springs… breezy, vibrant summers… lilting, dying falls… untouched, uncaring about Man and our world. Man’s cultures, politics and religions; man’s problems, challenges and victories; mans’ wars and innovations; man’s dis-ease and heaviness on this Earth.
One feels purity and understands what pristine really means. There is no compromise with intruding concrete, no sawed off limbs to make way for power lines, no soil that has been tilled until it can produce no more; no water sullied by man’s chemicals and waste… Here, the trees breathe differently. Freely, completely.
Here, this time, I found an energy I had unknowingly left a few years ago. An energy of balance and joy with my spouse. I was so surprised, but there it was, waiting for me. Unblemished, unhurried, vibrating on and on. I consciously brought it back into me (into us) and surrendered to the Universe to transmute the mutated energies that have been building over two years. The energies of resentment, fear, confusion… sneaking in and infringing on the flow of the relationship.
I am so blessed to be part of Saint Regis Pond and always leave it with gratitude and a grounding I can find nowhere else. It is gratitude that arises from my soul, and a nourishing that sustains me like nothing else. Although it is punishing on the body, I always return replenished and rejuvenated. I get my mojo back.
Friends wonder (and understandably so) why we go through so much work to get to Saint Regis Pond, punishing our bodies and sacrificing comfort. After all, it’s a pond (lake really) with dotted islands, hills, trees… the same stuff you can find by much easier means. But, you can’t. It is life living true to itself and nothing else, uninterrupted, wildly exquisite, and it holds you in its embrace while you rest there a very short while. And if you’re really lucky, I might even tell you how to get there.