Narrative- Amazon Woman Essay

1159 Words 5 Pages
Narrative- Amazon Woman

I need to recover a rhythm in my heart that moves my body first and my mind second, that allows my soul to catch up with me. I need to take a sacred pause, as if I were a sun-warmed rock in the center of a rushing river.

I am crouching still near a tree on a loamy ridge, my two hands spread around the trunk. I am feeling grateful for this tree that I remember because of its mossy smell and thick crevassed bark. It tells me that the beaver pond is near where one white pine shoots 100 feet up out of the tannic water, which means I am close to camp and food and sleep.

I get to the pond’s edge, across from the point where my tent sits. There are no trails and the boreal forest is thick with scrub pine and
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But I am far past it and now I do the trick that always relieves my fear: as I lift my arm to pull through the water, I watch the bubbles as they leave my nose. I concentrate on my breath. Soon I am laughing at myself. Fear is at once humbling and freeing.

Two hundred strokes out I stop and tread water to look around. I have out-raced the deer flies and now I see a pair of loons swimming nervously back and forth twenty yards away. I must be close to their nest. This is my second day, I hope by the end of the week they will have relaxed with me in their home.

I force myself to look down at the water that hides my naked body. I am trying not to think of my white toes dangling five feet down, looking like fish bait or worse – snapping turtle bait. As a kid I thought something I could not see would grab my toe and drag me under water – a freshwater version of JAWS. But still I was always drawn by the orange-brown color and rich-with-life smell. It is the smell of fishing with dad and my brother, and the smell of excursions with my brother and sister in our old row boat deep into the swamp a mile from our house. I love to recall the reverent silence between us as we drifted farther and farther back into the swamp away from the sounds of the road. Back there other sounds took hold of us: the quiet creaking of the oar lock; the turtle’s claws scratching as it scurried off the fallen, half submerged tree; the song of the red-winged blackbird as it announced its

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