By the time I washed up on those shores it had been 5 years since Mom died, add another two since my marriages finale, and that morning I had been up all night, having returned alone to my apartment after another libatious evening within one of the bars that lined the shore of that lake, and I was restless. I had grabbed my camera and took off out the door, down the elevator and towards the misty dawn light I walked.
There was a golden hue of dawn glazing the waters of Lake Ontario still, and I desperately wanted it to fill that hole inside me. That me I was back then out wounded and wandering, out hunting for something outside to heal the inside.
“What breaks in daybreak? Is it the night? Is it the sun, cracked in two by the horizon like an egg, spilling out light?”
― Margaret Atwood
By the shores of Irish Lake, I watched birds out my window every dawn, and the sunset over the water every evening. That first year we built a bonfire almost every night, sitting there in our lawn chairs, listening to coyotes and owls voices echo over the water. I let it all wash over me, through me, inside, after those years by the other lake, I soaked in the wild beauty around me, if only for a little while.
It was enough. It changed things. It healed other things. And, it took things from me I would never get back. Such was the cost of living among such beauty.
“the tired sunsets and the tired
it takes a lifetime to die and
no time at
― Charles Bukowski
But by this lake, named Erie, my grandparents waltzed to Guy Lombardo, sharing many sunsets and rises.
As a kid, we’d pack up the car and head to ‘Port’, to Mackie’s for fries and OrangeAid. Blankets stretched out on the hot sand, playing in the water, letting the waves wash over our feet, going up to my waist, too scared to dip under, scared of I don’t know what.
Twenty years had gone by since the last time I was there, it was September of 2016. A lot had happened in those intervening years, spending time on the shores of other lakes, watching beginnings and endings on other shores, and learning how to appreciate that dash of time between.
Dreaming, getting lost, and found, and lost again, picking up what pieces were left, and moving on, forward, like the Phoenix of legend, born from the ashes.
It had grown cool after the sun dipped below the water that day, but we sat eating our fries and drinking OrangeAid from Mackies and watched the day end over the horizon.
“They both listened silently to the water, which to them was not just water, but the voice of life, the voice of Being, the voice of perpetual Becoming.”
― Hermann Hesse, Siddhartha