Lake Life - North Pond, Woodstock
If I could give something to every single person, I would give a week at the lake.
While some people have the attitude that the more others have, the less is left for me, a lacking mentality – I have the opposite. I believe giving more to every person, making every person’s life better, healthier, happier, gives more to all of us, to our society as a whole. My life in the community is made better when I am surrounded by people who are hopeful and thriving.
The lake is my favorite place in the world to be.
I was fortunate that my Aunt and Uncle owned a rustic “camp” on Crescent Lake in Raymond, and I spent my childhood there. I didn’t spend a lot of time; my visits were a few times each summer and only once for an overnight with my family, but that opportunity stirred my soul and showed me so clearly something that moved me, made me happy, fulfilled me and would be something I sought to do more of in my life.
When something makes you feel good, you should always say – how can I do more of THAT?
We have rented lake houses almost all the years my sons have been alive. We can’t afford to own one, but that's OK. We spend one week per summer there. And sometimes when given something sparingly, we treasure it even more.
Why I would like to give every human a week at the lake is that I find it personally restorative in the highest sense.
Time stands still. We usually have no idea what time it is for our entire week…and we don’t need to. We eat when we’re hungry; we rest when we’re tired; we completely check out of what our home and work lives look like.
When I wake up, I always head outside in my pajamas. I walk all around the property, and we always try to get properties with space and no neighboring lake houses. It is best when I cannot see or hear anyone for my entire week.
The smells at the lake create a sense of nostalgia for me – that smell of pine and soft cushion of the needles underfoot. The air is fresh and crisp. It is quiet except for the chirping of birds and occasionally a tiny putt-putt boat motor, usually a solitary man out fishing on the small lakes we visit. I just know how much he is enjoying his time on the water alone, before all the world wakes up.
The lakes we spend time on are small, quiet, sometimes so shallow that motor boats aren’t allowed. The quiet is even more profound.
I have my morning coffee sitting on the dock just looking at the hills and mountains across the water. I lose track of time. There are millions of green trees blanketing the lake and are as far as my eye can see. They are gorgeous. If you don’t believe in God, this might make you wonder about the beauty of nature and how it all got here. It may stir a gratefulness in your heart to witness such beauty. I contrast it to cities with noise and too many people scurrying here and there, glued to cell phones, driving too fast, too aggressively….too angrily, filled with anxiety in their bodies. Can’t think of a thing to be angry about at the lake. No eye pollution. No noise pollution. No pollution at all.
We nap. We float on the lake, in the sun, for hours. The depth of relaxation as we undulate on the waves (or tucked into our beds after a day filled with fresh air) is like none other. My body literally unwinds, unkinks the knots. My body seems to sink into, and become one, with whatever I’m lying on.
My creativity abounds. Whenever there is quiet, gratefulness, space and time, my mind has room to ponder and roam. My thoughts are a complete release from my worries and work tasks that play on a loop, and deep into my sleep at home.
The lake is beautiful at sunrise, sunset, high noon, late afternoon as the golden hour comes on. It is gorgeous under bright sunshine and royal blue skies with puffy cumulous clouds. It is calming in the rain, and thrilling in a thunder and lightening storm. Weather is just more brilliant across the expanse of a lake, ringed with mountains.
As my son and his wife canoed beside my husband and me, kayaking around three small islands with tiny cottages on each, we looked up at the giant eagle’s nest high in a tree and marveled when the bald eagle himself came soaring across the lake towards us, free as a bird.
“He’d be a poorer man if he never saw an eagle fly,” came to mind. (John Denver, Rocky Mountain High)
If I could, I would give a week at a lake to every person to restore, energize, calm each and every one. I would love every person to experience the serene joy and wonder I feel hanging out there. If it feels good, let’s all do THAT!