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On a trip with her Grandfather to the Boundary Waters, A young lady has to face nature, divorce, being a teenager, isolation, and worst of all herself. (present-day/ Boundary Waters) Jordi Haux, Harrison Haux, Cherle Haux, Jonathan Haux 30 Chapters- FEEDBACK WELCOME - complete FIRST DRAFT (dedicated to my Father)

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Chapter 1

The tick of the clock as the present moves to the past.

Dying embers of things not meant to last.

Looking over shoulders as the images move so fast.

Into the stream of memories our reels we cast.

Chapter One: Nature Reprise

The dawn of the Twenty-second century approaches, and my fires grow dimmer by the day. The world steps into a new century and I’ll soon walk where there is no space and time. Weighted with feelings of prostration, the taste of my mortality lingers in the air.

My mind has been reawakened by the nostalgic past. I was forced to inventory every detail of my life so others could scavenge through the wreckage. There, hidden among the minutiae was something worthy of inheritance.

My Grandson Cole found a journal in a dusty old chest. My awful handwriting was scribbled all over the decomposing paper. My eyes degenerate more by the second, but I can still see the curiosity on my Grandson’s face.

“Are you wondering about what’s in that journal?” I asked.

“Actually, I was,” said Cole.

He was a lanky boy of fifteen. He constantly would brush his long dark hair out of his eyes.

“I was the same age as you when I wrote it. I was a wiry girl and full of vinegar.”

“Did you write about secret boyfriends or something Grandma?”

“No, nothing like that. To some, it might seem like a recounting of a camping trip I took to The Boundary Waters with my Grandpa.”

“To some? What is it about then?”

“A meditation on nature, life, culture, heritage, and life in transition. All things above and below.”

“Boundary Waters, what’s that?”

“A protected canoe area on the border with Canada. North of Lake Superior. A vast network of waterways and bogs within a glacially carved landscape of Precambrian bedrock covered in thin soils and boreal forests. No motorization is allowed on the American side. You hike or paddle everywhere you go. All of your supplies you carry in and have to take back. It is a place of supreme wilderness. It’s not like regular camping or hiking. It’s something that you can’t really fully understand unless you’re there. It is endless beauty.”

“Can I read your journal?”

“You can, but I’ve got a better idea. How about you experience it? I’ve got dodgy knees and an even doggier personality, so a trip to The Boundary Waters is out for us I’m afraid. We can go on a different adventure. We can head for the North shores of Lake Superior. What do you say?”

“That’s rather sudden. How long do you have in mind?”

“A weekend or so. As long as your parents are fine with it. I just so happen to have good relations with them.”

“Sure, why not! Even if I’m bored by the words, I’m always down for a trip somewhere.”

“Deal. You know elders used to be the height of respect in a family and community? Now they are only Birthday and Christmas cards full of money. No one listens to what they say, and are cast aside.”

“Nobody takes what young people say seriously either.”

“Maybe together somebody will have to,” I said. And just like that, we were soon off to Grand Marais for a first stop.”


Here the cold wind off the lake cuts right through my jacket, and I feel every year of my aging bones. Holding firm to my cane, I gaze upon the splendor knowing it will be the last time. The reaper’s shadow has been drawing near so that I can feel its breath. I draw in as much of the crisp air as these dusty old lungs can manage. The great lake never fails to purify my blood and soul.

Cole and I managed to snag a bench overlooking the treacherous water. I shuffled a little to warm my feet, as my eyes panned over the rocky storm-battered lakeshore. The whitecaps cut over the water like a shark fin on the hunt for prey. The waves reach the shore only to slowly slide back into the silent depths.

Lake Superior looms over the region like a leviathan. It eats endless miles of the horizon. Lying in its bowels are the ghosts of the past. Out of the abyss, my eye catches the beast’s newest prey. Barely in view a cargo ship slices slowly through the perilous water.

“Before we go somewhere quiet, so I can read my journal for you, I’d like to take a moment here. Is that all right?”

“Yeah, it’s nice by the beach. I might even see some girls while we’re here.”

“You might even catch the back of my old hand.”

“Ok, I won’t look.” He threw his hands up in defeat.

“I’m only teasing. I’d hit you with my cane. Like I’d take a chance breaking these brittle digits.” I give him a smile.

“I promise to keep at least one eye on you, Ok?”

“I suppose I would have been no different at your age.”

“Guess we’ll find out when you tell me about the journal.”

“Yeah, didn’t think about that. I’m too old to care about things like embarrassment.”

“I know.”

“I’ll ignore the hint of criticism in that.”

“Grandma, where’s your name, Jordi, come from?”

“It’s Catalan for George, guess my parents just liked the sound of it. I don’t really identify with that name though.”

“What do you mean?”

“Haven’t you heard that as soon as you name something, you limit it? If you say, I’m a girl. Then you’ll think in terms of what girls are capable of and what they are not. No name means, there are no expectations or limits. Do you get my meaning?”

“I think so.”

“If not, in time it will come to you. Just think about it every now and again.”

The cry of gulls pierces through the winds and I watch one ride the invisible air streams. White spray shoots off the big rocks. People move through the scene without pretense. The Lake is so large you’d be forgiven for thinking it is an ocean. The soundscape of lapping waves fills my mind with random images.

“Don’t get views like this in the Twin Cities” I said


“You see that cargo ship out there?”

“Sure, what about it?”

“For some reason I picture Poseidon unleashing mighty gales with his breath. Testing these sailors like the heroes of ancient myth. I know they are only bringing taconite to eastern ports, and the lake is the only raging kraken they’ll face. Still, this place stokes fires in my imagination. It’s easy to get lost in dreams.”

“I can say random things too.”

“Humor me, child. I am old and dangerous because I’ve got nothing to lose.”

“Are you always this grumpy?”

“I’m trying to let my mind connect back to the memories of youth. Get in the spirit of things.”

“Oh, I see.” He said, but I don’t think he actually did.

I see younger versions of myself recklessly exploring over the rocks. An envious heart yearns to run with such innocent joy. My spirit soars like the birds high above. My body is like the helpless driftwood getting battered in the wash.

I think of my Grandparents watching in the heavens over me. I am far older now than they were when I wrote that journal. I was foolish back then and I wonder what they might say to me now. I’m also reminded how much I miss them.

“It’s nice to think places have memories too. These rocks and waters have been here for countless years and will see new days of transformation. My time with you and your parents will soon be all that’s left of me. I’m hoping to pass on a little more with this trip. That this might be some sort of inheritance.” I said.

I could tell that he didn’t quite understand what I was talking about. He seemed happy to just let me babble on. I let memories dance in my mind a little longer until the melancholy I was suppressing dulled my wits. It was time to soar to shores fuller of solitude and peace.

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