Christopher squatted at the edge of Lake Susquehanna. Four weeks ago, ice covered the black waters. Now the weather was fit for swimming. A painful cramp rushed through Christopher’s muscular leg. The fair-skinned adolescent braced his slender body with his left hand and quickly tilted his rear towards the ground; landing amidst a tender canopy of ferns and mushrooms without harming the saplings he had been busy planting. He carried the herb with fresh, white roots from the east coast, knowing that it would be impossible to survive in solitude without the precious herbal hallucinogens. He was careful despite the jabbing pain not to harm the tender saplings.
Christopher considered the plot of land near the manmade lake the most enchanting place in the universe. Never had he witnessed nature beyond the pages of books. Since arriving at Lake Susquehanna, the dreaming returned. He slept upon the waters of the deep lake. Centuries before, this was man’s recreation. Thousands of them would have gathered on these lakes in their floating homes, drifting along, some fishing, some just harvesting the peacefulness of the lake. The deep, black waters. The solitude. Christopher knew that surely those who follow him here will want to stay for generations. His visions were magical here at night– like images that great poets once captured within the soft embrace of written words. His dreams were much more vivid on fresh water, compared to that of the ocean where he had lived all his life with others who managed to remain alive, despite the pressure to move on.
Long, wet spring days and nights passed as he made his way across the land, moving like a savage of old, carving his way through thick, tropical vegetation to find these virgin waters– those that had not been sucked dry of their living nature. Living waters.
Tropical foliage of pineapples and bananas reached as far north as Ontario. It was rare to find a patch of land still so cool and damp, like the earth of earlier days. Apples grew here. It had been weeks since he last slept, high from the dew on the plants, he made his way day and night like a mad man. Nakedly he rushed to get here, feeling his soul burn as if on fire, Christopher made his way through the forests, keeping his thoughts in focus.
Alone he slept on the waters of Lake Susquehanna, generations after the infestation of consciousness had begun, when man learned to harness the power of the sea as he had done the sun. Under a full moon, on a manmade lake with cement breast that had miraculously escaped the ravages of time, Christopher slept like a baby. This would be his home. Already he started the farm to feed the minds of men through all of eternity here on Earth. There will always be peace in this place, Christopher imagined.
An organic carpet of decaying vegetation stretched for miles. It had been so long since anyone was able to travel inland– to the homes of the ancestors. Christopher was pleased to have found this place. Remnants of once glistening homes surrounded the lake, even the eloquently constructed fortresses of wood, preserved through man made chemicals, stood the hands of time, like pyramids of those in the beginning.
Most homes appeared to be worth living in again, but now, as it has been so long, no one can sleep without being on the water. Dreams intermingle between those floating on boats. A human consciousness truly does exist there. On land however, under a scorching sun, one never finds rest. Without water below, one just wonders into an oblivion of endless, interconnecting thoughts belonging to the greater whole.
The wilderness Christopher was sitting in, with a throbbing leg, was once Pennsylvania, and before that, it was the edge of a giant ice sheet which stretched from the top of the world, far south, until it ended, with claw-like marks, into a gentle mountain of rolling hills.
In the distance, along a pine- covered embankment, far above the water of the lake, a pair of eagles tended to a nest constructed of drift wood. In an old withered oak, the nest hovers from the bank and dangles over the lake like a dinosaur cradle. The nest is large enough to use as a raft. It will be weeks before the birds leave their nest. Then Christopher will climb the limestone cliff on grapevines to take it for himself– a hammock of sorts, a floting hammock to sleep upon in a lake that is still filled with fish and dreams.