Wednesday, August 15, 2012

Sharing Memories: For Sue, Skiing on Glass

       Thank you to Lorine McGinnis Schulze over at Olive Tree Genealogy,  for her ongoing series about Sharing Memories.  She has been posting a topic every Sunday since December 8, 2009, which gives me lots of food for thought and writing. In addition, the only rule is to share one's memories for whomever, but no rules about what, when or how often to write.  My kind of series,  since I dinna seem to do to well under hard and fast rules.  Not being a poet, I only write a poem every couple of years and the following is one I wrote about two years ago.  Although my sis was the inspiration,  the memories are mine as much as hers and on any given early morning, the roles in this poem could change -- her to me, me to her.

Early Morning "Glass"
Courtesy of JGH & Roots'n'Leaves Archives



Sun rays caress the far mountains,
Herons stand in silent vigil,
Eagles swoop for early morning morsels,
And the lake – a shimmering mirror.
Sisters slither from warm sleeping bags,
slip into swimsuits 'n' fuzzy sweats,
grab a cup of cocoa, scuff into worn tennies.
Hurry! Gotta get on the the lake before the ripple.”
Cold fingers peel away the rough canvas boat cover,
stow life jackets, towels, and extra skis.
Don't forget the paddle – just in case. “
The big inboard engine coughs to life,
hull edges out onto the molten steel-colored lake.
Head for the other side, better glass.”
We two giggle this morning, the glass is ours,
no need to share with sleepyheads,
never waste the glimmering slick surface on beginners.
The boat slows to a stop, the water stills.
First to ski, slips into the cold moire.
An invigorated gasp greets the morning.
Deep breath, dip into the ski,
adjust the life belt, handles just right,
ski in position, boat slowly pulls the rope tight.
Hit it!”
Burnished water breaks now before the ski.
Lean back into the morning light.
Bask in sun and wind as the ski slices through the shimmer,
sending up showers of sparkling rainbows.
The slick water barely holds the skeg.
Skier, ski, and water are lightly bound
as the skier leans far to the outside where the glass is good.

God has created a new day,
Skier skims the glistening surface,
Silver and green and gold
Cut to right, break the steely still veneer,
Live that the sunset may find you
Arc to the left, jump high,
Worthy His gifts to hold

God and Glass are good.

JGH's note:  I first heard this morning devotional at Camp Esther Applegate on Lake of the Woods when I was a 10 year-old camper.  At home we never sang songs or said grace at meals, so this was a new experience for me.  I thought these were the most beautiful words I had ever heard, and that is still so, some 6o years later.  To me this camp song is closely tied to Lake of the Woods, water skiing and my sense of  God and Nature.  I never skied the early morning "glass" without hearing this song chime in my head.

~ ~ ~
© Joan Hill, Roots'n'Leaves Publications


  1. What a lovely word picture. I'm not a skier but I could feel it...

  2. My granddaughter just read the poem. She is a skier and she too said she could see it and feel it. That was a good thing. Jacqui, thanks for being such a faithful reader of these little stories -- and poems.

  3. What a lovely poem Joan. I've never skied but I could feel the sheer pleasure in your story. Precious memories to share with your sister. I can see why the words of the devotional pulled at you.

    1. Early morning water skiing is just a glorious joy --- and the colors fit so well with that verse. Loved it. Glad you enjoyed it.

  4. The imagery is perfect. I could imagine it all as I read. Thanks for sharing this beautiful peom.

    1. So glad you enjoyed this little poem. I too am taken right back to those days when I re-read it. Glorious skiing mornings.

  5. Replies
    1. Thanks, Carol. I am not much of a poet -- more of a prose writer, but I did, in fact, like this poem ---sometimes hard to admit, one likes their own writing.

  6. Not a skier either, but could put myself in the moment. That grace is one of my favorites. I learned it as a Girl Scout when I was young and was sure to teach it to the troop I led for my daughter. I remember one Sunday morning I took my campers to sit by an inlet of the lake adjacent to the Girl Scout camp and we sang this song at sunrise. I think they were touched as well. (kathy at abbiedandeveline.com)

    1. Kathy, we had similar experiences. The Klamath County Girl Scouts used to use Camp Esther Applegate for summer camp. I went there for about 5 summers, first as a camper and then as a jr. counselor. I also lead a Girl Scout troop for several years, tho we generally did free camping and stuff rather than the typical big organized summer camps. As for the grace, it has remained my favorite since the first time I heard it as a camper. A good way to start off the day. Thanks for stopping by and reading.