Lime, Bird, Nine


They scattered my ashes into the waters of Mickey Lake, eighty years spent and gone.  The flakes danced and blew in the breeze before landing on the surface and disappearing from sight.  We buried my husband years ago on a hill that overlooked our home, as he wished.  I wanted, in repose, to be one with the beloved lake where I was raised.

As a young woman I couldn’t wait to grow up and leave, to start my life.  I was busy too; running from job to job before settling in Sudbury, meeting my husband and later taking the factory position that I would have after our youngest started school.  Busy, industrial sewing machines hummed along eight hours a day.  Busy afterward raising a family and tending to the million zillion things that come along with seven children, a husband and a hundred year old house.  We were busy at all hours it seemed; with that many children someone was always fighting and someone yelling.  I would send the children out to play when they got too rambunctious and gain a measure of quiet that way, but it was never for very long.

Make no mistake, I love my children dearly, every one of them.  Beth, Adam, Margaret, Benjamin, Harold, Charlie, Debra and Pauline.  One of my little starlings was stillborn.  Bathed and then wrapped in muslin we laid her to rest under a tree out in the pasture.  Nine babies all in all, eight that grew to adulthood and one sweet little bird that flew away on the wind.  In all things we trust that the Lord knows best.   My children grew and moved away. As I aged my thoughts went more and more often to Mickey Lake and my early life there.  Simple everyday things drew my mind back.

In the Spring, when I drove home after a heavy rain the sides of the road home held large puddles of water.  The surface rippled gently in the breeze while the dark waters reflected the trees and sky.  This simple thing made me more homesick for Mickey Lake than anything I ever came across.  How many summer days did I look out and see the lake rippling in exactly the same way in the breeze?  Lake Wanapitei was nice to take the children to in the summer, but it was busy with highways and stores.  Vacationers would line the shores with their multi-colored towels while their babies played in the shallows in little lime green suits and pink plastic sunglasses.  An exhausting but fun day trip.  My memory held Mickey Lake more comfortably; less commerce, fewer people, and quiet.

But now I am alone, finally.  Blessedly, peacefully free to listen to the water lap against remains of the wooden pier that my grandfather built and abandoned here years ago.  Spirit soaring as I watch the clouds lazily picking their way through the tops of the ancient evergreens and hardwoods that line the shores.  In the summer the loon calls his mate while frogs speak up from the reeds and small trout show their backs in the shallows.  These dark waters, fed by streams and brooks and winter run-off are full of life and beauty.  I see my maker’s hand in the exquisite snow flakes that dance along the ground in December and in the cathedral that the lake becomes when snow blankets the evergreens at its edges.  Such riches we are given here on earth. At last, I am home.


8 responses »

  1. Nicely told… I’m there, and that’s just perfect on a Freija Butthoff sort of night.

    Thank you but I’m sorry, I don’t get the reference Nelle. Fill me in? Thanks!


  2. Okay I didn’t get the email notification, thankfully you mentioned it.

    This speaks to me -black water streams and all of it. Perfectly speaks to place, the people and lives. The name place not so important. The story is one played out wherever one travels, wherever one puts done roots.

    Strange, Neil Young’s Helpless begins with a ‘town in Northern Ontario’. Did you write this after I sent my ‘dribble’ to you?

    ‘They scattered my ashes into the waters of Mickey Lake, eighty years spent and gone. The flakes danced and blew in the breeze before landing on the surface and disappearing from sight.’…..this jerked me around. My nephew drowned in the Spanish River not far from Sudbury. My brother and his wife, let ashes free at a secluded lake we all went to log cabin in the summer. The kind of place, where you to canoe or boat to. Totally quiet, totally peaceful -cemetery kinda quiet.

    Good shtufffs you. Huge Huge Huge GRUNT!


  3. Pingback: The Skinny On Diving Into Inkwells » beyond plum creek shtufffs

  4. Home rabble rouses dreams, dreams you speak of in this post; not exactly about lakes but home, just home, the home of early, early youth & irresponsibility. Thank you, NeeksWrite. You are one of the only three, including me, that I have ventured across, who uses this same Matala Theme…

    Love your style of writing Lindy, and I love the theme too. Great minds and all that, right? 🙂


  5. I know it seems am on a Neil Young kick, am not. I read this again, it reminds me of ‘One of These Day’. …..

    One of these days,
    I’m gonna sit down
    and write a long letter
    To all the good friends I’ve known
    And I’m gonna try
    And thank them all
    for the good times together.

    Maybe that is what we should be writing -letters to ourselves. The various people we have been. As much as like to think am the same as started, I realize that can not be true.

    There is some truth in that too Hudson, I think everything we write contains some truth of us, a note. This story told me I think about “back home” a lot more than I realized.


    • What a story – gave me goosebumps and memories of my own lost baby. thank you for this beautiful piece of writing. 🙂

      Thank you very much! Why don’t you try your hand at it this week? Three new words will be up soon. 🙂


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