Just a few days of respite at a friend's secluded camp. That's all it took. No electricity, technology, noise, people, agendas, chores. Just being. And coming to know the lake, its textures and sounds, its creatures and moods. I am contentedly human again.
We sat, quietly, my husband and I...allowing our minds to rest. Conversation was scarce and words seemed almost an intrusion as we wrapped ourselves in the comfortable silence that comes from years of intimacy.
Even Callie-dog, after her initial exuberance and joy of being here subsided, was content to lie quietly and become acquainted with the smells that drifted her way.
Sometimes I swam to the raft with my notebook and let my thoughts float onto the page. Sometimes I dozed, lulled by lake rhythms, my mind light, empty and hollow.
Glorious leisure and silence. I realized how much I had craved this space, this pause in the intense busyness that has become my life. Silence is a gift we rarely give ourselves, something we wish for, yet somehow never find time to pursue.
Sometimes a curtain was lifted, allowing us briefly to see the life and drama that ebbs and flows here, whether we bear witness to it or not.
The large and small of it...
As each day passed, a steady sun arched over the lake, from east to west, and we swam when the mood struck: in the languorous silk of early morning, in the high heat of noon, in the long shadows of eve. We floated, splashed, dove, paddled without purpose, just responding to the nudging of desire.
One afternoon, we watched in awe as a line of great billowing clouds moved across the sky. We waited for the lightning in the distance, silently counting the seconds until the crack of thunder.
And then the storm was upon us with great fervor and noise and urgency, sending blankets of rain rippling and blowing across the surface of the lake like drifts of snow over a frozen surface...and just as suddenly as it came, it moved on...
...leaving a special gift in the quiet aftermath...our own private rainbow.
And with the approach of a glorious clear evening, the stillness enveloped us again.
And we sat, watching the moon rise and the colours shift and slide, merge and mellow, then sink into the cool mauves of evening...and the landscape spoke and the night became a living thing with the hum of insects, the perpetual warble of persistent frogs, the melodies of robins and calls of the waxwings, each one trying to out-sing the other.
Reluctantly, we drifted off to bed, sorry to see the end of day, but comforted in the certainty that morning would bring more light and swellings of the heart, more gemstones to treasure.
And I wondered, in years to come, what I would remember best about these days...how the magic would touch me and coax me, perhaps, to a different choice...or how the memory might sustain me, perhaps through loss or sorrow...or how I might revisit the joy and silence and closeness, again and again.