It has become my new routine during the first phase of my queer little family’s year-long journey. After completing my chores, I run along the trails surrounding Silver Lake and once I’m thoroughly drenched in sweat, I grab a book and push our enormous 15-foot canoe into the frigid waters of the little lake we’re calling home for three months. With a smile that has yet to wipe off my face, I paddle fiercely. I’m typically the only person on the lake.
It’s a steep mile hike from the trailhead, and we’re the only ones “living” here for the summer, so my giant green canoe ripples the silvery waters in solitude. Once I find the right spot, I stuff my life vest behind my head and cozy down into the belly of the canoe, book in hand, goofy grin still spread across my flushed face. In the warmth of the sun, I read. In the belly of the canoe, I drift into the history of the lake, the unwritten annals lapping alongside my rocking boat, the portions on record filling the book in my sun-warmed hands.
The author who wrote the history of Silver Lake, William Powers, hiked up with several autographed copies in his rucksack several days after our arrival. He’s a nice man who wrote a nice book. There’s nothing like reading about the history of a place while in the place. Hear me say this clearly: there’s nothing wrong with the nice book this nice man wrote. The stories of Frank Chandler feeling a call from God to build a place for religious camp meetings along Silver Lake’s shores are fascinating, an interesting part of the history of camp meetings that filled the Awakenings throughout the United States. But as I read about Frank Chandler and the various men who the logged roads hikers now hike and built the buildings that haven’t existed for years due to fire, I couldn’t help but notice who was missing. Continue reading “Painting Herstory: Our Lady of Silver Lake by Angela Yarber”