ELIZABETH BERRY (HARRIS) - CROWE LAKE POET
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Elizabeth fell in love with Crowe Lake in her twenties after being introduced back to the area by her mother. She bought Glen Allan Park in an effort to be a stay-at-home yet working mom to daughter Michele.
Dan joined her full time a year later and presently Michele has taken over ownership. This was their dream from the beginning. Decades later she became a hospital chaplain and licensed clinical counselor. Deeply spiritual, Elizabeth has deep connection with the lake, nature and especially the park she often writes about.
Unfinished thoughts and poetry written at Crowe Lake, Marmora
Glen Allan Park
When I got to the entrance of the forest road, the gate that led to my home on Crowe Lake....a peaceful cloud would descend on me...the tall pines waved their welcome greeting...birds flitted to and fro and sometimes...a brown rabbit or other small creature would appear as a gift... How I treasure these memories of home.
Look carefully at the leaves, the grasses, flying geese and bouncing little creatures, the docks, gazebo and shoreline. I am there. Fragments, remnants of my heart, my spirit, fill this wondrous park. It is me though I claim no mere ownership. I am here where my joy springs forth with the morning light and in the evening rests with the song of the nightingale. To just utter "I love Glen Allan Park", seems so trite, so caged, but then how can I utter the ineffable? My heart has no gates to contain my affection, it must burst forth and merge with the beloved here and now. I've stepped over the edge, luminosity surrounds all within vision so that even my hands and bare feet have taken on a glow. What bliss is this? I'm overcome
Watching a single wave
Single wave reaching distant shore
Depositing gifts, taking more
Not an ending but a cycling
It slips back out, an undertow
Side to side, undulating, flowing
Beneath foam crested incoming waters
Then rising, circulating, gliding
Meeting you above the plane
Both different, enlightened
12:04 p.m. 1978-04-28
Thoughts, words, images
Thoughts, words, images on a page
Like actors on the stage
Are not wholly mine.....
Out of other's ashes ...created...
Recycled, dressed, aided
On a page stage
Summer slipped away
Red and Orange and yellow plumes In fields once green, autumn blooms And water laps, the shore to kiss; A second more…. and this I’ll miss. The rock a fortress firmly held, The mist that slowly rose compelled, Sweet memories of the point, we both beheld, As summer slipped away.
Drifting mists of yesteryear cloud my vision but I see them finally and although they lived once, they are not real. They lived then not now. Oh that I could meditate like the wise and be free to be only here now at will. Yet little by little a habit is formed. I shall learn.
At the lake!
We just can't...
It's not knowledge we lack,
But application and tack.
We're filled to the brim...
great and small,
But in sorting and sifting, then finally taking 'action'.
We falter, we slip and we fall
The answer, it's there! right straight ahead!
But as we reach, there comes another call....
We pull back our hand,
Refuse to make a stand...
And other's insight we take as pure gall,
To tell us what we know, but somehow can't 'do',
The conflict, the angst of it all.
Home at Crowe Lake
Returning from a foreign yet not so foreign land, I reached my humble cabin. From my pocket I reached for the key that had not been used for months, placed it in the lock and the door swung wide. Home. There was the clock that chimes, the hats on hooks, the coffee pot, the sofa to greet me. No welcome rang out, no arms to embrace, not even a cat whose eyes might have lit up at my arrival. Yet, I'm home again with familiarity all around.
What kind of stay will I have this time? Will there be family with smiles, friends who visit or will I find so much loneliness that leaving for far flung places will feel more like home than home?
Oh, here they come with joy on their faces and love in their hearts! I'm home.
I read your words and get lost in a weightless cloud of
love.....how could I resist such tenderness. I melt in your presence, I
yearn for your touch, I'm filled with such raging passion, I delight in
each thought of you and each thought rises not alone but fueled with
electricity........one little kiss is not enough....
What can I give to the grown kids?
We stand alone
On our own
And think it feels so strange
But life and cells only grow
When they split, divide and change
Seems like we are made for both
Together then apart
Life breathing in, then breathing out
As the rhythm becomes an art
Butterfly at the lake
I'm like that pinned butterfly
While the other me whirls through space
Day turning night turning day
While I stay
Do the sun's rays beam down through the trees and kiss earth below?
Today, it seems so different....
As the earth itself....sends forth... its light....upwards
Worshiping.....the luminous sun....
Even green-leafed trees......cannot block such spontaneous....rejoicing......
what can I give you
If I could, I would give you:
-the anticipation of spring time -the sound of the wind chimes -the soft breeze, a sea breeze caressing you so-the songs of a choir......of birds on a wire... above you and much higher, soft clouds of the day
-the sound of friend's laughter -a deep massage and then after -a dip in the clear pool -the ease when you lay....
Two Dancing Waves
Two dancing waves
And we breathe unfamiliar delight
Rising, falling, playing, embracing, becoming,
Rushing, laughing, to shore
Depositing our gifts
And returning once more
What a sight!
Homesick for Michele
I'm homesick A rough seas ocean Overtakes me Memories of grass and blue Carries me above the pale Envelopes me like warm mist Ensures my heart's intact Then leads me home To you
Returning home again
Anachronisms abound...entering Glen Allan Park
Towering pines sway over sandy roads and paths
Ending at northeastern shore of clear, blue, beautiful Crowe Lake
All at once, it's yesteryear, yesterdays...
Then, smiling she appears...
Not a child, yet a daughter...forever a daughter
Children by her side, worthy
A mother could not love her more
I stroll to the end of the park dock and reach out with heart and eyes and this all-encompassing bliss envelops me. It's not so different from my youth falling helplessly in love for the first time. Yet, I'm far far from those youthful years. If you believe this magic is reserved only for the young, for poets, rare musicians and rare artists, you are wrong.
I'm well past prime and here I am on this old familiar dock in this old familiar heaven; now my arms thrown wide as if to embrace the ineffable. I feel radiant, happy, lightly laughing, enraptured just being here now. I'm released from myself, swaying as if dancing. I lose sense of time. I'm intoxicated free of the self I was only moments ago, I linger there for seconds or hours, I do not know.
When the magic of bliss lifts, I'm changed, I've seen eternity and returned with a boon to share. A great gift has been bestowed and my thankful heart can hardly share it.
Where is your bliss I ask myself much late?. Visit it often for it is Life and all that is good. Only perhaps when we are so lost in the arms of a lover, do we have such moments like this when we are free from the constraints of ourselves. Go to the places that bring you bliss I remind myself. Although it cannot be summoned, on rare occasions it may deem you worthy. In the twinkling of an eye, all is changed. You are changed, lifted up to some other realm so mysterious so breathtaking, no words can contain. Once you have visited this realm, it is impossible to ever forget.
End of Summer at Glen Allan Park
Sounds of the park grow fainter,
Sounds of the laughter sped;
The howl of the gales,
The emerald dales,
Are hushed, quiet, dead.
Flowers and tall grasses,
Gasp and fade away,
Fallen leaves provide,
Earth’s blanket lake side,
As night bids farewell to the day.