Wednesday, August 27, 2014

Wilbo Considers Lung Diving in Lake Muskegon.

Why not a pause at my still point of the turning world? The season dwindles as we approach the Labor Day weekend. The children go back to school. The teachers go back to the classroom. The young adults go back to lecture halls at colleges big and small. We salary men and women thank you for keeping us entertained as we made the scene on three day weekends, afternoons off, boldly planned week or maybe even two away from the office. We'll get out to those month long idylls somehow, with severance, unemployment or retirement checks dropping into bank accounts by direct deposit. Until then, keep the summer vibe going for the full hundred days of summer.

Working for 7-11 in Midtown Dallas, we all called the days from Memorial Day to Labor Day the Hundred Days of Summer. All those 7-11 stores selling from bottled water to Slurpees all day and all night, and who wanted a system failure to miss all that income? That's why I had a contract at 7-11, to keep those cash registers across American ringing.

Who counts the three weeks of calendar summer that remain once Kindergarten through Twelfth Grade are convened, although these September weeks are as warm, sunny and blessed with partly cloudy blue skies as August. Then we all visit summer in the evening, all of us reporting inside for daytime. Lucky is the room with big windows that open out and let breezes inside.

The Monarchs are buzzing the flowered borders of the trail, painted wings of orange and black floating on breeze gusts, neither losing course nor rising too high. Earlier this week, I saw a younger deer, older than a fawn, running along the fence near Fricano's on the Lake, and it was too young to leap the fence. So it threw itself at the chain links and the links bounced him back, a sideways trampoline. I shooed him off towards the bend in the trail. I hoped the deer discovered the section, beyond the bend, where the fence stood half as high. I'm sure all the bicyclists, walkers and skateboarders had startled the deer, making him forget the easy access to a storage yard now overgrown with grass and short black locust trees. Plenty to eat awaited him and places to shelter once he figured out the puzzle of the chain link fence.

I just met the man who built the stone fire ring and tended the fires that left heaps of black chars within the limestone boulders. He and a friend have learned to lung dive, and without equipment, can swim down thirty feet and search bottom land for lures, coins and curios. At least the buddy system is in use, and his companion is learning breathing techniques passed down by lung divers from the Hawaiians and Polynesian Pearl Divers. They pop up from the depths every two or three minutes, breaching the surface like a pair of loons.

Pabs and Mikes are hardly the first scavengers I've noticed working the shoreline near this shelter. A woman with purple hair and last year's purple tee shirt from the Michigan Irish Music Festival had piled up a stack of polished driftwood, remains of sawmill slab wood and maybe spars from sunken barges. Her children were loading the haul upon a wagon. A second single mom collected this seemingly inexhaustible supply of historical wood nearer Heritage Landing last summer. During the winter she crafted garden benches from the boards.

A third diver has rolled up on a bicycle with mismatched tires. He sets out a radio on the blue picnic table that plays, "I'll Stop the World and Melt with You". Mikes has shaken my hand. Pabs suggests I join them for the next dives. I could learn the special breathing if Mikes is patient. My whitey tightys will make do for a bathing suit.

When the student is ready, the teacher appears. I've always wanted to be Aquaman.


Anonymous said...

So this is really Kim over at
DuneLight dot WordPress but every
time I try to post on a Blogger
blog under WordPress my comment
magically disappears.

That said, nice post.

Will Juntunen said...

Hi Kim, maybe I should review my comments more often. I looked for your blog & failed. Could you provide a link?