This Lake is a Mirror

This lake is a mirror ~ reflecting clouds, gulls, possibilities, sunsets and sunrises, the crescent moon, a sea of stars, and the shadow of my own face looking back at me.

The lake is a physical place as well as an emotional anchor. For six generations, my family has grown, learned, lived, worked, played, rested, and died here. There are memories everywhere – in the vase with my great grandmother’s initials and in her mother’s garden where I cut flowers yesterday. I remembered my grandfather as I set the vase on the table where he used to sit to do the crossword and I thought of my grandmother as I sat on the pier watching the rising sun splash colors across the water’s surface. As I weed the garden with my mom, I notice that we have been pulling weeds together in this bed for at least 30 years and we will surely be doing it again next year.

This lake is a shroud ~ covering blue gill, bass, lost golf balls, water toys, and secrets with thick layers of mud and plants, hazy water, and the blanket of time.

This lake is a container ~ collecting the raindrops, sweat, tears, laughter, dreams, and memories that fall into its welcoming embrace.

While so much remains available to be revisited and known anew each summer, there are changes to absorb each year also. This year, we greeted family members in the driveway with words and awkward smiles instead of hugs. We created a memorial garden and initiated it to its purpose with a small ceremony honoring a loved one who died this winter. With the help of a computer and an IPad on a nearby stump, those who couldn’t attend in person participated by Zoom. 

This lake is a witness ~ honoring the storms, the calm, the relationships, and the rippling, repeating patterns of the seasons of our lives. 

This summer, our daily conversations about our own homespaces, work, schools, and lives touch into politics, climate, covid-19, and possibility. But our words don’t carry us far; the future holds too many unknowns and uncertainties and there is too much noise, clutter, and fragmentation in our world to posit much. This morning, as we prepare to return home, I am grateful for the constancy and sustainability in this small bit of my life.

This lake is a living metaphor ~ telling the stories of the generations of insects, fish, birds, and people who are sustained here.

This lake is a refuge ~ grounding me in the same love, flexibility, and integrity that guided my ancestors and will support my descendants.

May my words and my actions honor this legacy.

4 Replies to “This Lake is a Mirror”

  1. Thanks for this — what wonderful imagery about the generations and shared memories and new experiences. I”m experiencing some of the same as I am packing to move to a new place — just haven’t been able to express it as poetically.

  2. Lisa, This is wonderful. As longtime neighbor I can relate. My children are only five generations and we have been going through the “friendly gate”, as Sis called it, for as long as I can remember. Thanks for saying it so well. “The Lake” is a special place.
    Charlie Cretors

    1. Thank you, Charlie! It’s good to hear from you and see you here – another friendly gate for all of us, I hope.

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