I love the water. Lakes, creeks, ponds – it’s all wonderful. But lakes – they are my favorite!
Maybe it’s the sound of the water as it washes up on the shore, maybe the way the sun glistens in the ripples. In the evening, on a calm night, it could be the way the sun reflects on the water’s glassy surface as it sets. I love the breeze that comes in on a warm summer day, and the crispness it can bring in the evening. I love how the cloud formations look like they were painted in the sky and I even love the waves, as long as I’m on the shore watching them from solid ground!
I grew up on the shores of Lake Erie, living with my Grandmother in a small harbor community where the beach was our favorite playground. We would spend the afternoon enjoying a swim or playing in the sand. At night, it was the place to enjoy the sunset and watch the stars. When my Mom remarried our new home was right on the lake, with our own beach rights – even though there were big cliffs and not much beach. I spent most of my childhood years playing in the fields near those cliffs and if you couldn’t find me at the house, you knew where I would be! There was a park next to us, with a playground and a little store and my sister and I would ride our bikes there to buy penny candies, play on the swings and watch the water.
When we moved to New York in my teens, my house was only a short drive to Lake Ontario. I spent many days down by the lake shore – just looking out and breathing in the air! A cooler, a lawn chair and that lake was all I needed to clear my head! After I married, we moved to Florida and it was the ocean and the Bay that called. I wasn’t a big “sun-bather” but loved to walk the beach with my feet in the water and the sand between my toes. My favorite time was in the early mornings and then at sunset. Looking for sea glass and shells was another favorite pastime and I would keep them in jars to show all that I collected over the time we lived there. Such peace and contentment – no matter what else was going on around me!
I have always loved the water. So it would make sense that I would marry a man who’s heart was tied to a lake! His family has been taking fishing trips to Ontario and Quebec since he was a young boy and owned a fishing camp up there for more than 30 years. He can remember each visit to that lake and probably every detail about what they did, how many fish they caught and all the funny stories that go along with family vacations. He still visits that lake each summer – his heaven on earth. While he loves the fishing there, I think it would mean just as much even if he couldn’t fish. I have been blessed to spend a few vacations there myself and fell in love instantly. I’m not as big of a fishing fan as my husband, but softly trolling the lake, throwing in a line with my feet up and watching the sun rise or set over the water isn’t a bad way to spend your time. And using the rod that his Grandma caught so many fish with is an extra special bonus!
I’ve found myself spending some time down at the local lake shore over the past couple of months. I feel like I can breathe there, think more clearly and life always seems to find it’s sense while I’m there. During one of my most recent trips, the water was fairly calm and there were the most beautiful clouds floating through the sky. The water was a deep shade of blue and the flowers and trees along the shore added a burst of color. As I sat on the quiet end of the boardwalk, I couldn’t help but think that God had made that day just for me. I was feeling a little lonely and recovering from a crazy week of work and life. Yet in those moments, I felt nothing but calm and happiness. It was like He knew exactly what I needed that day and he painted that beautiful canvas to help quiet things for me. To give me perspective. To show me how beautiful life is, and that you just need to stop, sit down for a bit and enjoy it!
He leads me beside the still waters. He restores my soul; ~ Psalm 23:2-3