This place, a haunt of my childhood, consists of a 75-foot bluff overlooking the lake. A forest has developed through the years from what once was a working farm. On one side of the bluff is a creek teeming with all kinds of fauna and flora--lily pads, reeds, turtles, fish, water snakes, frogs, beavers and those funny long-skinny-legged bugs that walk on water. On the other side of the bluff is a marshy area which has a smell of its own.
It is a place of peace and beauty, a place to connect with the earth, and, at night, the whole universe. The sunsets in the evening are spectacular, complete with the "green flash" as the sun sinks down at the horizon. Reflections in Technicolor stream across the lake.
At night you can see the drama of falling stars and comets and if you are lucky, a whole glorious display of the Aurora Borealis as it shimmers and climaxes, usually in color.
Down on the earth, in this spot, fireflies twinkle at each other as do the stars above. Eerie phosphorescent light gleams from dry, decaying logs, a last glow of the life they once contained. The gentle lapping of the waves on the beach lull you to sleep as the other night sounds begin--little animal footsteps through the leaves on the ground, peepers calling to each other from the pond, and ah, yes, the hum of hungry mosquitoes.
By day the sunlight plummets through the trees, creating a patterned fairyland of light and shadow. Birds and bugs are everywhere. Their sounds compete to make "modern music" in cacophonous, arrhythmic joyous busy-ness.
When a storm comes, the winds and the rains and the waves in the lake and the contorted trees in the forest howl at each other as they vie for control of the earth. When finally this is settled, the air is fresh and the land ready for new growth. And I, myself, am at peace, and ready for new growth.