Thursday, June 28, 2012

The lake

I'm very happy today because tomorrow I will be journeying to the place of my heart's content. My dad owns property on a pristine, spring-fed lake just three hours north of my house. This property has been in our family since the late 1800's and I always feel like a part of me has been restored when I am standing on the shores of the lake. I can't wait to take a running jump off the dock into that cool, clear water. The unusually hot weather that we've been having is just further incentive to hop in the water immediately upon arrival - I suppose I'll say a quick hello to my dad before embarking to the dock, but swimming is next on my list of priorities.

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


  1. This post made me tear up a little bit. It was like a teaser for a great heartfelt novel. I love that your family has this and that you have such a connection to it. It will always be a place of comfort for you, that is pretty special. I would love to run down the dock and jump in, that sounds fantastic right about now!

  2. I love love love lakes (and lake swimming!) so much. Enjoy your weekend!

  3. This was a beautiful post and that picture is just gorgeous. I hope you have a wonderful time at your lake!

  4. Your lake sounds so peaceful and beautiful, especially with the memories of your mother it brings to you. I hope this weekend too brings you the solace you always find there.