Woods Pond, Bridgton ME

Woods Pond, Bridgton ME

Its rained a little everyday now.  Not all day, just a bit.  Enough to drive us all indoors for awhile to pop popcorn, or eat lunch inside before the sun comes out from behind the clouds again.  And I have too admit, I have been a bit draggy and gray myself.  Not all day.  But I’ve been a bit more tired and grouchy than last year.  A bit more foggy and tired.

Last year, my first year at the lake it didn’t rain at all.  It was a picture perfect week—for both of us “the lake” and me.

Last year, the lake and I, we were like new lovers putting on our very best for each other.  Every day I woke full of energy to witness her brilliant sunrise, the glassy stillness of the water at daybreak.  Every day she sparkled, all blue skies and sunshine while I dwelled fully present in the marvel of every hour—“Look how lovely the trees look in the 2 pm light—how different from the way they looked this morning.”  “Oh!  The air smells so beautiful right now?  Does it always smell so clean here on a Tuesday?”  And every night we stayed up late together the lake and I, a chorus of thousands of grasshoppers playing along with the soundtrack of the restless waves rocking the boat knocking it against the dock, as I lay on my back on the green green grass and counted stars with my son.

But this year we are sure of our love for each other and so we are no longer pulling out the stops.  I am too tired this year for sunrises.  I wake well past dawn when the lake is already busy with swimming and kayaks.  The nights are not always clear and bright.  The grasshoppers are not always singing.   And sometimes this lake she is even gray and choppy.  And sometimes we both rain a bit.

Now don’t get me wrong…The lake is no less lovely to me.  She is every bit as beautiful and peaceful as I remember.  I am seeing a new side of her and finding new beauty in the rain rolling of the pines or the reflection of the dark clouds on the water.  Furthermore, I am enjoying my time with my cousins twice as much as last year.  There is a rhythm and a comfort this year—a routine that feels like it has always been this way—us here on the lake.  We feed each others children and pick up our conversations exactly where we left off last year.   There is not so much to catch up on.  We can just look at each other and smile—holding hands while we watch our children play at the waters edge, helping gather each others books and towels when the storm clouds come.

And this comfort I think is translating to my relationship with these magic surroundings.  The beautiful spot I call the lake–she  knows I will come back each year a faithful pilgrim.  And I too know that she will be here for me next year, a resting spot for my tired bones.  This lake and I, we no longer need to impress one another. We are in that phase of a new relationship when you can relax and let a little of your imperfections show.  I am really not that much of a morning person.  She is not always sunny and bright.  But we will love each other nevertheless.   In sunshine and in rain.  And that love is in the end better than a vacation full of sunshine.

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