Old Geezers and Young’uns
Twenty power magnifying lenses on soft leather loops around our necks bobbed and bounced as my Dad and I climbed over fallen trees, slid down open crevices in a field of boulders, finding our way to the granite coast of Lake Superior.
Coming over a crest a vista opened before us; the deep blue waters of Lake Superior colliding rhythmically with white granite with glints of black gneiss and scattered orange patterns of lichens.
So cold, yet these orange lichens flourished on bare rock, as frigid waves smoothed every sharp edge with unrelenting force. We climbed and slid, scraping pants and skin, tearing jackets, falling feet-first into a deep crevice for protection against the whip of wind.
With the excitement of kids, even with forty years apart, we unfolded our lenses and lost ourselves in the tiny world of orange lichens, an uncharted world of mountains and valleys, chalices bursting with spores, lakes and rivers, made more adventuresome and “dangerous” by the crashing sounds of waves against rocks just beyond our crevice.
Spreading out one millimeter a year, these were old geezers and we, just young’uns.
Here was an astonishing collision of force and mass and fierce life sustaining each other for millennia.
Here were ancient mentors of holding tightly and letting fierce power loose, not too much, not too little, just enough.