Here's the view from my dock. A beautiful mirror image of a spectacular morning sky. Imagine swimming there - would you be floating in the sky or water?
The rains and cooler weather have been good for my northern garden. For once, the deer have kindly left the heads on my hydrangea bush! I like this play of wildflowers, domestic cottage garden plants, old birdhouses and Muskoka granite. The humming birds like the bright red bee balm poking through on the right.
I've been researching Pauline Johnson for a new short story I'm working on. She spent four summer vacations in Rosseau, quite close to where I live. She loved to paddle her canoe in early mornings, and I love her poem about the Shadow River here in Rosseau. This is what it looked like when I was out on the lake this morning. The storm came soon after and lasted most of the day.
MUSKOKA - E. Pauline Johnson
A stream of tender gladness
Of filmy sun, and opal tinted skies;
Of warm midsummer air that lightly lies
In mystic rings,
Where softly swings
The music of a thousand wings
That almost tones to sadness.
Midway t'wixt earth and heaven,
A bubble in the pearly air, I seem
To float upon the sapphire floor, a dream
Of clouds of sno,
Drift with my drifting, dim and slow,
As twilight turns to even.
The little fern-leaf, bending
Upon the brink, its green reflection greets,
And kisses soft the shadow it meets
With touch so fine,
The border line
The keenest vision can't define
So perfect is the blending.
The far, fir trees that cover
The brownish hills with needles green and gold,
The arching elms o'erhead, vinegrown and old,
Beneath me far,
Where not a ripple moves to mar
If I but dip my paddle blade;
And it is mine alone.
O! pathless world of seeming!
O! pathless life of mine whose deep ideal
Is more my own than ever was the real.
For others Fame
And Love's red flame,
And yellow gold: I only claim
The shadows and the dreaming.
This is a beautiful scene just down the road from where I live part time. You can tell that it is early fall by the brilliant foliage just starting to appear in the trees. The wind was quiet the day I took this photo and the sky on the still surface of the water in this marsh.
Frank Sinatra, Audrey Hepburn, Andy Williams and me...we all love the Moon River. My Moon River is located in a little northern Ontario town called Bala. There isn't a prettier sight in the world than the view from the Bala bridge in the evening, watching the sun drop into the waters and the sky light up with a rainbow of reflected colour.
The big Lake Muskoka empties its flow into the Moon River and it continues flowing on downstream to Georgian Bay. In Bala the water squeezes into a narrow, rock filled river and drops down a steep hill. The rapids swirl over massive granite rocks churning and whirling as the water rushes off to the western sky.
The song Moon River was a collaboration by Henry Mancini and Johnny Mercer. It received an Academy Award for Best Original Song when it was performed by Audrey Hepburn in Breakfast at Tiffany's (1961). Sinatra performed it, and Williams made it famous in 1962.
In the evenings, I used to live in my little bunk, set overtop of a cupboard in a room that I shared with all six members of my family at our summer cottage in Muskoka, listening to the warm melody and heartwarming words on the crackling radio that the grown ups listened to while we children tried to drift off to sleep.
"Moon river, wider than a mile,
I'm crossing you in style some day.
Oh, dream maker, you heart breaker,
Wherever you're goin', I'm goin' your way.
Two drifters, off to see the world,
There's such a lot of world to see.
We're after the same rainbow's end, waitin' round the bend,
My huckleberry friend, Moon River, and me.
Sharon Frayne is a writer and artist. She is a member of the Canadian Author's Association, the Niagara Writer's Circle and the Pumphouse Art Gallery. She looks for the universal experience and the mystery in everyday things.