Algae at Marston Lake: Photo by Noelle

It seeps and bubbles with oxygen and fermenting life from last season and rot… oh there is definitely rot. Dead leaves, sticks, bugs, old fish. It is a soup of color and life that smells earthy and pungent. I watch a water bug crawl across its surface. I cannot tell if it searches for food or is its food. Mosquitos swarm above me, but I tell them I’m busy. They’ll have to dine elsewhere. Most listen, anyway. I love ponds, streams and strange pools of water that life springs out of; moist, hot and teaming with all manner of crawling and swimming things. Sometimes they’re creepy and beautiful, other times decayed and rich.

I grew up on a lake in a neighborhood of mostly boys. I had five brothers. I caught toads and snatched up frogs with a stealth a stork would envy. Salamanders and crawfish were my favorite, but they’re tricky. Not easy to find in fresh water streams and under rocks. I never killed anything. I just liked to catch them and look at their beauty. Flying crickets, Daddy Long Legs, praying mantises, rolly pollies and aphids. Furry night moths, lightning bugs, and long earth worms. Tadpoles, sunnies and catfish. Pike, sometimes, snappers often and boxed turtles on occasion. Once a copperhead snake swam alongside me on the lake and scared me half to death. Their bite is most unpleasant. Smores by the campfire invited a troupe of ants to visit my sleeping bag one night. I have never screamed so loud in all my life.

I spent a lot of time alone as a child. I was often lonely, but never bored. My capacity for make-believe had me in trouble for daydreaming, over the course of my school years, more often than I can count. I enticed a chipmunk into my lap with nothing but my hands, once, and then spun a story of a monk village guarded by dragon and damselflies. I regaled my furry friend with my story, but it only slept. Little heartbeat beating like wild horses in its breast. I couldn’t understand why I never quite fit in anywhere and in my early years thought of my younger self always the odd man out. Or, in this case, odd girl out.

I stare into the percolating algae that festers with life and imagine the gnats and mosquitos are angels that follow me everywhere I go. I am the princess of a swamp and they are my guardians. What is there to do? Bugs and birds may swarm, but never princesses. They always seem to travel alone.

14 thoughts on “Algae

    • I try not to ever think one age is better than another or reminisce about golden years, but as I watch children nose deep into their electronic devices, I wonder is it really as good as an afternoon ankle deep in a creek? Thanks for stopping in, my friend. I see we are spirits are even more similar than we thought.

  1. It reminds me of playing in a stream with a band of fairies and creating stories around them since there wasn’t anyone my age for some distance. But it was a beautiful time where I learned about the earth and its creatures and have never forgotten them. Maybe not people, but beauty everywhere.

    • Well, fortunately, no longer lonely. I think the difference has been nothing more than excepting who I am and my current now. When you resist what “is” you suffer so much more from loneliness and disconnection. When you accept everything being exactly as it is, the loneliness goes. I’ve enjoyed my own company for a very long time. I just wish I’d seen the power of loving myself when I was 14!

      • Rich. A post in itself. =)

        This particular post struck me bc I’m a little hypersensitive to the loneliness on behalf of my boy, an only child. I know, I know…it is good for kids to enjoy alone time, build creativity yada yada. I wave that off bc he gets plenty of it and indeed has had ample opportunity for creativity. It was interesting that you had siblings but still felt alone. I know a sister woulda been nice. I appreciate the feedback, N.

      • I think if you are a creative sort, you often feel alone. I had five brothers who were a few years separate from me and I eventually had a younger sister (7 children) who was five years younger than me. I think sometimes you just travel your own path and to do that well you’ve got to come to terms with a lot of alone time. It’s not bad or anti-social. Just sort of what happens. In terms of only children, I know many whose parents were always loving and giving people and their child learned those values. They learned to be connected and involved. So be at peace, my friend.

      • Everyone of us will gain strengths and weaknesses from our family of origin. It is the way of all things. If you love your child and they truly feel that love they can overcome any setbacks or limitations in their upbringing. That isn’t me being nice. Studies consistently show this. Love him with all your heart and he will most definitely find his way.

Leave a Reply

Please log in using one of these methods to post your comment: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s