Last evening I sipped wine on the dock and watched four of our grandchildren playing in the water. Ducking, diving and spinning in tubes. Loving summer and each other’s company. Our oldest son had asked me earlier what birthday I had first spent at the lake. It didn’t take long for me to answer, “I was twenty.” And forty seven years have passed since then. It stuns me.
You see, I’ve always taken this beautiful place where I live for granted. The house on Kinderhook Lake was first owned by my in-laws, then briefly by us and now by our oldest son and his wife. They rent it to our youngest. I know, it’s complicated. Anyway, as I watched the kids bouncing and bobbing in the water I wondered if we know how blessed we are.
We have this lake.
Lakes have their own personalities. They have shape and temperament and shorelines. They answer with whitecaps to the gusty winds. On sunny summer mornings swallows dip over the surface in hopes of snatching a water bug. A heron swoops in and lands on the floating dock looking regal and thrilling our daughter-in-law who, with camera in hand, snaps his picture.
Autumn comes and, on still days, the reds, oranges and brilliant yellows of the trees on shore are mirrored resplendently. It takes your breath away and, for a bit, puts to rest thoughts of whatever brutal weather may be ahead. Geese overhead in V formation complete the picture and you feel like you’re in one yourself.
Come winter, if the air is calm and hovers below zero for a number of days, the water freezes into a shimmering sheet, smooth as glass. That’s when there's a scramble for the ice skates in hopes of beating the snow mobiles and ice boats in our haste to glide over the surface of this wonder. And when it finally snows, covering everything, you’d swear there was no lake there at all just a glistening white field.
None too soon the death grip eases and gurgles from the shoreline reach our ears. Buds pop out on the trees, crocus peep from the ground and the golden days of summer wiggle their fingers at us again. As a boy my husband would “accidentally” fall into the water on his first visit up from the city. “Hey, Ma, I fell in!” And that’s what happened to our youngest granddaughter,Sierra, yesterday just before we arrived. She had her swimmies on and didn’t expect to go all the way under. She came up spluttering and Mom was there in a flash. No harm done and it made a great story as I blew out my candles.
This is our life in August. And this morning I wonder again if we all realize how blessed we are.
We have this lake.