Really knowing a lake

Really knowing a lake

I have a strong personal relationship with a lake that my dad and I sort of discovered when I was about 10.  We ended up buying some land there, and my dad built a cabin pretty much with his own hands on this lake.  Small lake, but it’s crystal-clear.  I was not an early-adopter of bicycles or vehicles, so when my dad got a little boat with a little motor, I was propelled, and I would spend hours just by myself going around that lake and looking at the bottom—again, the sort of inside/outside thing.  I know where the little streams are that come up from the bottom, I know where the drop-offs are, I know where there’s different kind of vegetation, I know that lake like it’s a good friend.  And I know where the best swimming places are, the best fishing places are, and so I’ve had a relationship with that lake since I was 10, then we ended up building a cabin on it, [my husband] and I did.  So 60 years, almost, of knowing that lake.  When we lived up there I found that each lake is like a person; each lake has a personality.  I think of them as beautiful women, maybe lakes can be male, I don’t know.  So I know a bunch of these beautiful women, and I love these beautiful creatures.

[Boy Lake and Man Lake are probably both male.]

It’s just really something to know a lake that well.

And there’s always the mystery, though. There are always the parts you can’t see.

This lake is 80 feet deep and you cannot see that bottom.  After I learned how to swim a lot, I can go down a lot, but I can’t go down 80 feet.  So I don’t know what’s at the bottom.  Except when there’s ice, you can go out on the ice and cut a hole, and you can see really deep in the ice house because it covers the reflection.  I know that lake in all seasons.  It’s my friend.

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