Okay, there isn’t really a lake named Zen, but there are over 1,000 lakes in the Boundary Waters Canoe Area. I spend my summers on a lake at the edge of the BWCA. (More)

Midday Matinee is our people watching, people doing and people being feature. Join the Woodland Creatures for an afternoon break.

Lately the news has been stressing me out. The Mitt Meltdown tour was good for a few laughs but not at all good for my peace of mind. The idea that he is the best the Republican Party could come up with scares me. When I am stressed or scared, the Lake Zen calms me down.

Last night I sprayed myself liberally with mosquito repellant and went down and sat on a big rock by my lake. This rock has a built in back rest and a scooped out place for sitting. It is Mother Nature’s version of ergonomically correct seating that perfectly accommodates my body. If it is daytime, I can fish and catch a small mouthed bass or read a book or even doze off in the shade. At night I can lean back and watch the stars, listen to the loons and hope for a show of Northern Lights. The sound of the water calms me and I find my place in the universe.

Campers come here for just that connection to the natural world. I am lucky to be here for 5 months but sometimes I forget to just sit and enjoy it. I may need to make a daily appointment with my rock to maintain my sanity. Many of us are so disconnected from the wilderness that we don’t realize how much our souls need it. I love cities but I need the wilderness. I need Lake Zen to keep my balance and my sense of perspective.

A couple of weeks ago there were 30 Boy Scouts camping here. After talking with the leader, I suggested that they might want to put their sleeping bags in a garbage bag and swim out to an island to spend the night. Only two of them decided to do it. In the morning one of the two came by my site to thank me. He said he realized he was part of a magical world that we should be taking better care of. He was struggling to find the right words. I told him that for me, the sound of a lake, the zen of it, just soothed my soul.

He replied, “That’s it. It soothed my soul and it really needed it.”

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