It's no secret that the inner workings of my dad's mind are a big mystery to me. For instance, why does he insist on sleeping with the TV on every night? Why is he such a picky eater? (I have never in my life seen him ingest a fruit or green, leafy vegetable). One of his biggest idiosyncrasies is that while he prefers to spend all of his time at his lake home, he never actually enjoys the lake. Oh, I suppose he'll go on the occasional pontoon boat ride but that's usually for the benefit of guests. He doesn't fish, he doesn't swim, he doesn't kayak. I've never come across him just sitting on the dock, savoring the view. He's so incredibly lucky to have such natural beauty just steps from his doorstep but I don't think he pauses to enjoy it. Maybe he does, in his own way, but certainly not in the way that the rest of us do.
J and I were married in a little church near the lake so the morning of our wedding I woke up early to savor a solitary swim, which did wonders to soothe my pre-wedding jitters. It was a very memorable, almost spiritual, experience for me. I also found a good deal of comfort by the lake soon after my mom died. She loved the lake. Swimming, kayaking, fishing, sitting peacefully on the dock - she cherished it all. As I sat there immersed in my grief I felt comforted by the gentle breeze that caressed me, I could almost imagine that the soft touch on my skin was her gentle caress.
At every juncture in my life I have found solace by this lake, which is why my heart always yearns for it. I feel W.B. Yeats said it best in one of my favorite poems:
|I will arise and go now, for always night and day|
|I hear lake water lapping with low sounds by the shore;|
|While I stand on the roadway, or on the pavements gray,|
|I hear it in the deep heart's core.|
|A beautiful sunset mirrored on the surface of my beloved lake|