We are driving down Old Seney Road, a shortcut between Lake Nawakwa and H-58 which will take us back to our house on Lake Superior. We have been canoeing on Lake Nawakwa, a very big lake with almost no houses on it, deep with thick forests all around, which we found out later is owned by an oral surgeon from Cleveland of all places, and my husband lays out for me the post he thinks I should write about our canoe trip. He wants me to tell the story of how it was, as he puts it, the perfect paddle.

And I agree with him. It was sublime. Not another human or vessel on the lake, the water very still until we got hot and then the wind would stir just a bit to make paddling cooling and effortless, enough water lilies to remember what they looked like when they were in full bloom, and a place to nestle our canoe while we ate our sandwiches. The lake was lush in all ways, beautiful and green with water completely black with the sun’s reflection, and completely ours.

We ate our lunch with our canoe up against the shore which immediately gave way to a hill with dense trees and foliage. We kept scanning the hill for creatures; it seemed too improbable to be the only breathing things there.

We ate heartily. The cheese sandwich my husband had made for me was gargantuan. Men have an entirely different approach to cheese than women, an unexplored sociological phenomenon. One wonders why he bothered to slice it when he could just put the half pound wedge between two slices of bread and be done with it. No one could say we were undernourished.

So, yes, everything about the paddle was, in fact, perfect, but the best part was the ride home and seeing this tree. I stopped to take a picture. The tree could be a metaphor for so many things, it would be hard to choose. It was a tree that made a U-turn and then reconsidered. And there it was standing in the forest, not far from active logging trails. It was likely its days were numbered.

This tree could be the emblem for every person who ever second-guessed themselves, everyone who gave up something that was too hard to do, rested awhile and resumed the effort. It’s a symbol of triumph or maybe a symbol of finding the light to grow. It’s a symbol with a lot of potential, don’t you agree?

Jane Seymour could make it into a pendant, a ring, a bracelet, and a keychain and give it the traffic and meaning such a unique tree deserves. Forget about “Open Hearts,” this is “Open Tree.”

A more perfect symbol of anything and everything couldn’t be found anywhere. And we found it, the perfect tree after the perfect paddle.