Thursday, July 14, 2011

In the Footprints of Bartram

It was the best of times. It was the worst of times to go outdoors. Yet she did it, barely considering the consequences of her action. Yes, from the middle of our society ridiculous with people afraid to walk beyond the front door to the driver door, scared to drink non-plastified water, loathe to breathe unconditioned air, a hero has risen.

I found her in the unlikely pages of Lifestyle Magazine, which the mailman had shoved unsolicited into my box. This publication is a local horror that usually features gripping cover stories like "Orlando’s Ten Best Dentists." She is the editor but not for long. I believe Tarre Beach soon will be getting a call from OUTSIDE Magazine.

I would like to quote from her front piece: “Inspired by our piece on local waterways, I decided to check out the lake in my own backyard.”

Here we have it. Just like that, after living there ten years, well, let me quote again the source: ‘Without really thinking about it, I just put on my sneakers and walked myself down to the water’s edge.”

No sooner does she notice the lake in her backyard, then BAM! She’s thrown off the gum boots she stalks the perimeter of her house in and applied mere sneakers for swiftness and agility that she might survive the trek, but still guaranteeing nothing.

Standing amidst the shin-high grass, the intrepid woman posed jauntily for one final photo in her bright-white pants and blue top, before …once again, in her words: “Moments after the photo you see here was taken by remote release (Absolutely alone she was forced to use ‘remote release’), I fell in.”

Heavens to Betsy! One would expect this photograph to be the last we see of Ms. Beach, yet she fights for life though “scratched up by nasty thorns, bitten by mosquitoes and had a near panic attack when I heard a big splash behind me.” She writes so casually about a big splash behind her. How many of us would keep cool as she did, avoiding a full blown panic attack? In the entire account not once does she tell us she shat herself, in this day of confessional writing, admirable in itself whether she did or not. The thing is, she didn’t subject us to the image of it. Again…”Back on shore and cleaned up I decided to learn more about Trout Lake.”

She did what most of us would have done in the first place and Googled it, learning that the lake “is 80.5 acres large.” Largeness pretty well tells it all anyway.

Finally, this magazine editor ventured toward a lake with no regard for her own safety that she might save us: “Stick to known waterways”, she warns, “that have parks and boat rentals and other amenities. Let my wet, itchy, scary water adventure be a lesson to you.”

No comments:

Post a Comment