Week 36: Evening Prayer on the Lake, 5 September 2008

I wish you could have been there. 

Fall feels like it’s blowing in early this year, and Lake Pend Oreille is beautiful.  Much of this region was carved out when the ice dam to Glacial Lake Missoula broke during the Ice Age Floods and carved out a lot of what is now Washington and Idaho. Much of our rocky terrain is due these events, and the sheer rises of the surrounding mountains (and the drop-offs in the water–and the amazing depths of Lake Pend Oreille) still show signs it. Around the lake, there are of course beautiful mansions, historic lake homes, and family camps, but there are also huge portions that are state and federal lands, uninhabited, and beautiful. The few deciduous trees in the area (and the understory of shrubs) is beginning to turn like a delicate, tentative version of New England’s wild flamboyant fall landscape. The landscape and the clouds above were reflected in the still water of the lake, occasionally disturbed by the splash of the fish that eluded JP’s line.

Our friends JP and Barbara Carver are the clergy at Holy Spirit Episcopal Church in Sandpoint, ID.  When we learned they have Evening Prayer on the Lake, we decided we’d better get up there before the boat’s back out of the water (October). I think the high yesterday, in the city, was 71F, and we cast off after 6pm last night, so we were very glad to have taken our coats along (though JP was in shorts and short sleeves, and didn’t look the least bit uncomfortable). He took us out to Clark Fork, to a small inlet near a public dock, with still waters between the mountainside and a marshy island, where we dropped anchor, enjoyed the view, had evening prayer*, then chatted and ate cheese and crackers and wine until twilight.

We got home quite late (it’s nearly 2 hours up to Hope, Idaho from our house), but the drive was well worth it. (Also, being in Idaho, we scored some cheap diesel before heading back across the border). This morning found us all still snuggled under the covers in the chilly house at 9am.

*Evening prayer is an Episcopal worship service that doesn’t have communion, and thus doesn’t require a clergy person. The Carvers have been doing Evening Prayer on the Lake on Friday nights for about 5 years now, with anyone who’d like to go. If you find yourself on Lake Pend Oreille in the summer, give them a call.

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