As a child, I was so excited to arrive at the lake -- to sundrenched days, and cool water, hotdogs, wet dogs, lightning bugs, and bare feet -- I would actually get the hiccups. Fifty years later, I still feel the same childlike anticipation for lake season. And, yes, it still gives me the hiccups.
The lake is a tangible scrapbook of my youth, and now the ongoing story of our four children. It is a throwback to the bygone, where imagination and play occur without the benefit of technology, and nature is all around where children naturally long to spend their days…outside. Popsicles dripping off elbows, water games, and fishing lines, turtle races, sticky s’mores, and flashlight tag, the dirty soles of feet peeking over the end of bunkbeds. Perhaps adults go to the lake to remember? To remember what children innately know, and the inevitable responsibilities of adulthood erode – life uninhibited.
The lake is where we have the time to do what we love – to do what makes us us – celebrating family and friends, cycling, shooting and hunting, water sports, golf. Long boat rides with cherished neighbors, rowdy card games, coffee on the dock at sunrise, and flag-waving holidays (every day) honoring our brave. Somewhere amidst the outdoor passions, spontaneous singalongs by the fire, and crowded, chattering porch swings, we begin to laugh louder, play harder, and relax faster. We recall our own childhoods when we were, if only unknowingly, present.
Inevitably, there comes a day we leave the lake and return to ‘real life.’ Calendars. Work. Shoes. Less beer. Fewer popsicles. There are no hiccups on this day. One more summer over, and with it another season of our kids’ short, precious youths.
Nonetheless, we return to routine transformed, because the slowing isn’t a mere indulgence, it is renewal. The blessing to daydream, to float, to stargaze, to linger, to reconnect, without guilt or a nagging to-do list, if only for a short time. These moments remind us what is most important, not just at the lake, but throughout the year. Most of all, they remind us we are grateful. Grateful for God’s many blessings, and what the lake so uniquely teaches about life and living for the moment.
Written By Betsy Galliher