Bozeman has its own beach. It’s a great place to watch people and sink into Nature’s calm presence, even in the middle of a surprisingly non-rural setting—considering this is Montana.
It’s noisy around this recreation area,
but the lake appears content with activity.
Brightly suited children laugh and swim at its beach,
as parents watch and chatty picnickers arrive—
for it is that hour of the day.
Near the access road, a carpenter planes a board
at the new brewery being built to look
Semis, RVs, pick-ups, moving vans, and a fire truck speed by
while the beep-beep of an earth mover
warns of its backing up in the distance.
And the lake rests easy in its willow-lined banks,
shifting only slightly in the mildest of
The mile-high sun is hot at noon—
direct and penetrating, as if to ask,
Why are you here?
I wonder, too, as my skin starts to burn.
Reclining under this shade tree
is more accommodating
to the reverie I seek.
Shadow and water lend an indirectness—
highlighting nature’s pleasures
and my awareness of them,
as fish leap to tease a solitary angler
snoozing in a neon-green inner tube
where the lake bends and shallows.
And a flotilla of five young ducks
takes flight, swooping together—
testing this year’s wings,
midst enthusiastic bird song
chirruping in the branches overhead.
Busy lives need lake time
to still one’s bones and slip into awareness
that, even here, nature is at peace.
Thirty minutes pass
before my eye takes note
of dragon flies.
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