Updated: May 3, 2019
Yesterday I passed by my 11 year old grandson closing the backdoor as he watched his father back the truck out of the garage. He said, “Oh, no, I wanted to go to the lake with him.” But he didn’t seem that sad. His Mom said, “I will take you.” I hopped into the car with them and the baby. Within 5 short minutes the landscape changed from house-lined suburbia to a lush forest of green cradling a glistening lake. We stopped the car at the marina. My grandson jumped out smiling and ran to his father who was waving from his boat.
My daughter suggested we go to her new favorite spot on the lake. She parked at a secluded cove where the flat green grass meets sand and pebbles that sip at the edge of the water. In a quick glance I did notice the solitude and quiet and that no one else was there. I needed to help watch the toddler because he is fearless and not quite steady on these rocky perches. He eagerly got busy throwing rocks into the lake and fishing for green algae with long sticks. My total attention was on him and I smiled from being forced to be so present in the moment - offering him a new stick or rock, holding him by the shirt so he could throw and not fall, clapping with him as he delighted in his play. I liked watching the slowly widening, shiny ripples created by baby rocks plunking into the water.
We took turns being on baby patrol. When I sat back and looked around I saw and heard geese and 5, then 8 hawks hunting. One flew so low my daughter heard the sound of his long wings flapping in the wind as he passed over her head. I began to drink in the beauty and this slower pace of nature, so distinct from the speed of our daily endeavors. I was stunned how calming the affect was on my body. Some people find this joy in the mountains, some at the ocean, some in the skies. Nature can have this mesmerizing pull.
I later found out why the older son was not that sad when Dad left without him. It was a Friday afternoon. Dad met him at the school bus and had asked if he wanted to go fishing at the lake. He was tired, wanted to rest and declined the offer. So Dad left without him.
After a few minutes of rest he felt the pull of the lake calling to him. He told me later that, “catching a huge fish is such a good feeling". His Dad loves the lake and finds it, “peaceful and tranquil”. I too find myself being drawn, as if by a magnet, to the gifts of the lake. Last night I pictured our spot on the secluded lake cove and imagined those wavy ripples keeping time with my slowing breath as I drifted off to sleep.