I fell in love with the lake years ago as a child, when my heart was vulnerable and free to receive and hope without question - before I learned about beginnings and endings. The lake promised to stand by me for a lifetime, and longer. That was all I needed to know.
Each year my ties to the lake grew stronger, as true love-bonds do. I learned to forgive the inconvenience of tangled seaweed around my legs. I learned to trust the muffled mumblings of receding thunder after a terrifying electrical storm. I learned to long for the encores of Jenny Wren’s melodic strains as she sang sweetly from her home in the old teakettle hanging in the maple tree. Most of all, I learned to thrive in simple surroundings: wind and water, sun and rain, wood and grass and sand. My heart grew strong in the presence of my trustworthy lover, and I found peace in belonging. Surely there could be no other. Surely there could be no end.
Life’s most critical lessons are often subtle and tedious. It took many years to understand that the loving relationship I shared with the lake actually reflected a higher, truer love, and that my devotion had been misplaced. Despite the reality of fellowship and harmony, a deeper reality pierced my soul: I was madly in love with the Creator of it all.
Could it be that God Himself chose this very place to touch me, woo me, and passionately win my heart? Was the lake where He would heal me, teach me, and lead me to know His own deep heart?
Today, God continues to speak to me of Himself and His unique plan for my life as every day evolves, marking its own small chapter in eternity. He calms me with tranquil early morning mist rising from the lake, wafting toward daylight. He challenges me with energetic sunlight sparkling in every direction, reflecting high noon. He confounds me with jet-black stillness resembling a gigantic bowl of ink, pooling the depths of night beneath a canopy deeply embedded with stars.
He inspires me with the pacing of a methodical snail, the energy of a jumping fish, the peering of a cautious turtle.
His moss-covered logs, lily pads topped with puffy white flowers, slender cattails – they beg to be touched and explored. His hummingbirds, butterflies and lightening bugs - they hover for my delight and wonder.
Collectively these things support my greatest desire: to know the One who called it all into being.
The lake continually teaches me how to live. Here God enlarges my expectations to know Him intimately. Here I recognize my true identity more than my counterfeit one – the fake mask I am tempted to wear like a skin-tight leotard in order to be accepted. Here days are marked by peace and surrender, and the childlike confidence that comes with ongoing lakeside reflections.