Perspective is everything, isn’t it.
Yesterday I saw some things for the first time because they were new and I saw some things for the first time because I was paying attention in a different way.
It has occurred to me recently that I have become a bit complacent in exploring my surroundings so I packed up the dogs and made a day trip out of heading east and then north to see some different lake country. September is a gorgeous month and yet these resort lake communities are basically ghost towns because people have returned to school and work routines back in the cities.
I had an entire beach on a lovely lake basically to myself. I took each dog for a long walk and swim and waded in the water myself. I think my shoes have been off more than they’ve been on for the last three days including driving with sandy toes and wet hems and it has been strangely liberating.
I got to thinking about how people carve out a little piece of heaven for themselves just about anywhere. On the beach yesterday, I did come across an elderly woman walking alone. We stopped to chat briefly and remark at the amazing September weather we’ve been having after a less than stellar summer and then she seemed a bit choked up and said, “But it’s the saddest day of the year.”
And I said, “Oh no. You have a cottage here.”
And she replied that yes she did and she was closing it down for the year and leaving that very day. I really looked at her then. A red turtle neck in spite of the heat and long navy pants. She was well into her 80’s and while I could handle the biting wind and still be warm wading in the water, her old bones could not and then I realized why she was more than a bit emotional. For her, it could be the last summer at the lake.
I glanced around at the empty beach and imagined it in the height of July, packed with people elbow to elbow and boats and beach toys and music and then I imagined it 25, 50, 75 years ago and this woman who has probably spent all of those summers there.
I told her it was my first visit to Candle Lake and she said, “OH! You must come back! It’s the best swimming beach around.”
I think I’ve seen better honestly, but Sandy Bay beach and Candle Lake are her piece of heaven and you can’t steal that from anyone.